DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced today he will be leading a trade mission Oct. 16-20 to Shanghai, China, and Seoul, South Korea, to promote economic development, business opportunities and tourism with the Dallas and Fort Worth region.
The mission’s delegates, including DFW International Airport, DFW business leaders, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, VisitDallas and the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be meeting government officials, business executives and local leaders, showcasing the benefits of operating in DFW and the growing economic ties between North Texas and leading Asian cities.
The multifaceted trip also will emphasize the role that international flights at DFW International Airport play in the connections between North Texas and China and South Korea.
“North Texas is a hub of innovation and diversity. As the Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to build its business markets internationally, we look to strengthen the ties we have with our global partners,” Rawlings said. “This trip is a chance for us to highlight North Texas as an ideal region for international businesses to grow and develop.”
In Seoul, Rawlings will participate in a panel discussion at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Champion Mayors Conference. The OECD, a Paris-based organization with 35 member countries, launched the Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiatives in March 2016, with support from the Ford Foundation. Champion Mayors form a coalition of leaders committed to promoting more inclusive economic growth in cities.
At the third meeting of OECD Champion Mayors Conference, Rawlings will speak on “Leveling the Playing Field for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Cities” and share his experiences ensuring companies of all sizes have an opportunity to grow. Rawlings is also expected to highlight achievements of his GrowSouth initiative and poverty task force.
“I’m excited to demonstrate on the world stage that Dallas is a city not just about economic growth, but economic inclusion,” Rawlings said.
The mission delegation includes members of the DFW Airport Board of Directors, along with representatives of the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber, VisitDallas, the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau and others. They will be joined by senior leaders from American Airlines, Axxess, Civitas Capital Group, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Estrada Hinojosa & Co., International Leadership of Texas, Jackson Walker LLP, NorthPark Center, the Overseas Korean Trade Association – Dallas and Wild Oats Marketplace. The Greater Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce also supported the trade mission.
Thirty-one Chinese-owned companies operate U.S. or North American headquarters and other facilities in the Dallas and Fort Worth region, including AZZ, DerbySoft, Huawei, NGC, TaoTao, Veri Silicon and ZTE.
Total bilateral trade with China accounts for 10.3 percent of Texas’ trade with foreign countries. China is Texas’ third-largest export market ($11 billion), behind Mexico and Canada. And it is Texas’ second-largest import market ($37 billion), behind Mexico, according to 2016 figures.
The visit comes just weeks after the Dallas Regional Chamber President and CEO Dale Petroskey signed an agreement with the vice governor of South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province, Jae-yul Leeto, to increase economic cooperation between North Texas and the province and its main city, Suwon, one of the most powerful drivers of the South Korean economy.
Nineteen Korean-owned companies operate significant facilities in the Dallas and Fort Worth region, including Asiana Airlines, Hyundai, KIA, LG and Samsung.
Korea is Texas’ fifth-largest export market ($7 billion), behind Mexico, Canada, China and Brazil. And it is Texas’ fourth-largest import market ($7 billion), behind Mexico, China and Canada.
North Texas is an international business and tourism draw, with DFW International Airport as the gateway for travel to Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai.
“We continue to see an increase in demand between Asia and Dallas-Fort Worth, especially as businesses continue to grow and relocate to Texas,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport and a member of the delegation. “At DFW, we are investing in the customer experience with an emphasis on the expectations of the international traveler.”
Other meetings in Seoul are planned with:
- The U.S. Embassy in Seoul and high-level members of the Aerospace and Defense Industry to recognize Seoul’s largest exhibition, Seoul Aerospace & Defense Exhibition.
- Samsung executives to discuss further advances in technology and the relationship between Samsung and the Dallas and Fort Worth region.
- Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon to discuss the relationship between his city and Dallas and Fort Worth.
- Big businesses to small and medium-sized enterprises that have an international presence or are looking to expand internationally. They will attend a “Doing Business in DFW Investment Seminar” to discuss recent successes and opportunities.
Similar meetings are scheduled in China, including those with business and tourism leaders and the mayor of Pudong, a district of Shanghai.