If you missed the October 2016 version of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s monthly publication, The New Pioneer, you may have missed the good news for Oklahoma’s aerospace and defense industry, whose products and parts account for $4.1 million in Oklahoman exports to the Republic of South Korea, an astounding 350 percent increase from the previous year.
“Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang. The signing took place in Changwon, South Korea with a small delegation, including a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce joining Secretary Benge.
The agreement is the result of months of work by both parties and fosters collaboration and trade through the exchange of industry expertise and reciprocal visits by senior officials.
Both regions have a large presence in the aerospace sector. Oklahoma is home to the American Airlines facility in Tulsa, the largest commercial aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot in the world and the largest U.S. Department of Defense depot at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City. Gyeongsang is the largest province in South Korea for manufacturing and the South Korean economy is the world’s 11th largest.
“Both Oklahoma and South Gyeongsang are internationally recognized as hubs for the aerospace industry, and leaders in manufacturing and innovation,” said Benge. “This reciprocal agreement is a win-win for both parties and brings with it many potential opportunities for Oklahoma companies to expand sales of products made here to the growing South Korean market.”
The MOU and recent dialog among government leaders serve as a framework for South Korean companies to invest in Oklahoma and create new jobs in the state.”
(Top photo: Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed an MOU with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang in September 2016. Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Commerce.)