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Port of Oakland Explores Expanding Trade Opportunities: South Korea

April 1st, 2011

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2011

U.S. Department of Commerce, Port of Oakland, And FedEx Explore Expanding Trade Opportunities with South Korea

From Left to Right: Brad Bowers, FedEx; Rod Hirsch, U.S. Commercial Service - Oakland (DOC); Jahan Byrne, Port of Oakland; Hon. Jean Quan, Mayor of Oakland; Young Woong Kim, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA); and Jim Sullivan, U.S. Commercial Service - South Korea

Oakland, Calif. – April 1, 2011 – The Port of Oakland, together with the U.S. Department of Commerce and FedEx, hosted “Road to South Korea: Exploring Trade Opportunities” at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland’s Jack London Square on March 31, 2011. This day-long event brought together local business and U.S. and South Korean trade organizations to address the benefits and challenges of doing business in South Korea.

“South Korea ranks fourth in terms of the Port of Oakland’s top export destinations,” said James Kwon, Port of Oakland Maritime Director.“ Expanding trade opportunities with South Korea will help fulfill the Port’s primary goal of growing its maritime business, which will help create jobs throughout the Northern California MegaRegion.”

This seminar is particularly relevant in light of the pending ratification of the U.S. – South Korea Free Trade Agreement. The benefits of such an agreement will mean more goods from Korea and will result in more cost-effective importing and exporting for both countries. The United States is a major supplier to Korea for many agricultural products including almonds, cherries, beef, and poultry. All of these are major exports through the Port of Oakland.

Expanding trade with South Korea supports the objective of President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative of doubling export volumes by 2015. Thursday’s event focused on helping U.S. companies of all sizes understand the opportunities to increase their sales, protect their business interests and take advantage of U.S. government resources when doing business in South Korea. Participants had the opportunity to discuss issues pertinent to their business interests. The seminar detailed South Korea’s demographics, South Korea – U.S. Trade policy overview, current export licensing requirements, government export finance programs, international shipping and logistics and airfreight logistics.

Guest speakers included: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan; Rod Hirsch, Director, Oakland Export Assistance center, U.S. Department of Commerce; Y.W. Kim, Managing Director, Korea trade-Investment Promotion Agency; Jim Sullivan, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service (South Korea); Joshua Pierce, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Larry Sullivan, Bureau of Industry and Security; Jerry Avila, Small Business Administration; Jahan Byrne, Maritime Division, Port of Oakland; John Lee, Vice President, U.S. Intermodal Maritime; and Todd Acker, Regional Sales Manager, FedEx.

About the Port of Oakland: The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport offers 130 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Please visit: www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Isaac Kos-Read
Port of Oakland Director of External Affairs
(510) 627-1565


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