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. Melonye Whitson, vice president of economic development at the Fort Worth Chamber, will be on the trip.
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.
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.
Several North Texas businesses will be on the trade mission, including 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.
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.
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.