Ankeny — September 30, 2011
On September 30, under the unmistakable gold dome of the Iowa State Capitol, members of the Taiwan Agricultural Goodwill Mission and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) signed a letter of intent for the Taiwanese purchase of U.S. soy products.
The ceremony, set in the Rotunda, opened with remarks from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, who welcomed and thanked everyone for attending.
“It takes a lot to get corn and soybean farmers out of their combines,” Northey said. “That fact that they’re here shows just how important they view this meeting and the opportunity to discuss our continuing business with Taiwan.”
Dr. Bao-Ji Chen, head of the Taiwan delegation, said it was great seeing old friends from Iowa, especially Governor Terry Branstad, who built the sister-state relationship between Iowa and Taiwan back in 1989.
“We take this opportunity to ensure Taiwan’s ability to get a reliable, quality supply of corn and soybeans,” Chen said. “Iowa is the last stop on our trip, and we saved the best for last.”
Branstad said he looks forward to continuing and growing the relationship with Taiwan.
“Iowa agricultural appreciates the strong relationship with Taiwan, who is our fifth largest export producer. Let’s hope we can increase that market in the future,” Branstad said.
A letter of intent was then signed by ISA President Dean Coleman of Humboldt and Han-Yeh Wang, chairman of the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association (TVOA), stating the intent for TVOA to purchase between 103 million and 110 million bushels of U.S. soybeans in 2012 and 2013.
“We’re very glad to have the Taiwan delegation in town,” Coleman said. “They are an important trading partner. With this signing, they will buy 20 percent of our soybean production over the next two years.”