BOISE — Idaho businesses interested in the Southeast Asian or Taiwan markets are invited to schedule a meeting with Eddie Yen, manager of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Asia trade office.
Yen, who has 25 years of experience with helping Idaho businesses gain or maintain trade access, will be available for in-state appointments on March 31 and April 3.
ISDA trade specialist trade specialist Kim Polzin said companies should submit their requests to meet with Yen by March 20, either by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 208-332-8532.
Yen, based in Taipei, Taiwan, had his trade office expanded to also cover Southeast Asia last summer, Polzin said.
Polzin said trade office directors help coordinate trade shows, provide market information and research, act as a helper on the ground for Idaho companies and develop relationships with government officials, which come in handy when problems surface, such as shipments stuck in ports.
ISDA also has trade offices in China and Mexico. Trade office directors typically return to Idaho twice each year. Polzin said 25-35 companies usually will meet with Yen when he visits.
She said about half of the companies are interested in learning information about exporting to a new market. Others are interested in market trends, or the status of customers.
Polzin said Taiwan usually ranks within the top five export markets for Idaho goods, though not specifically for agricultural products. For agricultural exports in Southeast Asia alone, Indonesia ranks as Idaho’s No. 6 export market, the Philippines ranks No. 8, Vietnam ranks No. 9 and Malasia ranks No. 10, Polzin said. She said top agricultural exports are dairy products, frozen vegetables, dehydrated potatoes and other potato products and wheat. She said there’s been significant growth in value-added products exported from Idaho, such as wine and confectionery products.