Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann arrived in Taipei, Taiwan on June 22 to visit the third country of the agricultural trade mission. Today, Lt. Governor Ellspermann and Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) Director Ted McKinney held meetings with a variety of Taiwanese government officials, including Director Christopher Marut from the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT), Ambassador Kelly Hsieh, and Deputy Minister Cheng-Taung Wang of the Council of Agricultural for the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The day concluded with the signing of three memoranda of understandings (MOUs) that focus on hardwood forestry and related industries. Signing the agreements with the State of Indiana were the Taiwan Timber Industries Association, Taiwan Timber Import & Export Association, Taiwan Furniture Manufacturer’s Association and Taiwan Plywood Manufacturer and Exporters Association. These three agreements “recommend measures that would be beneficial and helpful to increase trade and cooperation within the forest products industry.”
At the official signing, Lt. Governor Ellspermann noted, “On behalf of Indiana’s forestry, furniture and related industries, I am pleased to sign these agreements that memorialize the strong trade relationship between Taiwan and the State of Indiana. We are eager to open new markets and find new customers for Indiana forestry and agriculture products as well as encourage investment in Indiana.”
Dave Bramlage from Cole Hardwoods, an Indiana-based hardwood supplier, played a critical role in coordinating the agreements with Taiwan and was also present at the ceremony.
High-quality hardwoods that are grown in Indiana have enabled the state to be ranked first nationally in the production of wood office furniture, wood kitchen cabinets, second in manufactured homes, third in engineered wood products, fourth in pre-fabricated wood buildings and fifth in upholstered wood furniture.