FILE – Seattle Cargo Ship

A Hapag-Lloyd AG cargo ship sits parked near the Port of Seattle, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(The Center Square) – Washington is encouraging local businesses to expand their sales by exporting to South Korea.

A collaboration with the Washington State Department of Commerce, Port of Seattle and South Korean E-commerce company, Coupang, has led to a conference offering small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to learn more about growth through exporting with an emphasis on the South Korean market on Sept. 8.

The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center on the Seattle Pier.

Chris Green, the Washington State Department of Commerce assistant director, claims Washington has the most trade-centric state economy in the U.S., with Washington-based businesses having a “tremendous opportunity” to grow through the international market.

“Building on a long history of economic and cultural ties with Korea, we look forward to helping open doors for more small businesses and entrepreneurs through this exciting event,” Green said in a statement.

The conference will provide attendees with market opportunities, resources to help small businesses to export development, including connecting participating businesses with buyers and information on exporting to the Korean market, according to Greater Seattle Partners.

Brian Surratt, the CEO of Greater Seattle Partners, points out that South Korea consistently ranked as the Seattle area’s top three trading partners with a total trade amount exceeding $80 billion between the country and Greater Seattle region over the past 10 years.

“This long-standing mutually beneficial relationship provides a strong foundation for more of our small to medium-sized companies to increase their exports to South Korea, while also diversifying risk and growing faster,” Surratt said.

The conference is preceded by a reception on the evening prior on Sept. 7. Both events are free to attend and open to the public, but registration is required.

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