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Government & Politics

Montana reestablishes trade office in Taiwan

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Montana once again has a trade office in Taiwan for the first time since 2012.

Montana once again has a trade office in Taiwan.

Gov. Greg Gianforte and representatives from the state Department of Commerce marked the opening Wednesday of the Montana Asia Trade Office in Taipei. The state’s previous trade office on the island opened in 1988 but closed in 2012, partly due to budget cuts. A plan to establish a virtual office never materialized.

A representative with Export Montana — which operates within the commerce department — says Taiwan was the state's 6th largest trading partner in 2020, purchasing almost $80 million agriculture and other commodities. Though that number was down from 2019, Export Montana expects sales to rebound, and says the new office serves as a jumping off point for Montana to reach the rest of Asia.

Montana's main export to Taiwan was wheat The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee says the bulk of the state's wheat exports go to Asian markets.

In a news release, the governor's office says Montana's physical presence in Taiwan will "focus on generating new business opportunities for Montana and expanding sales and investments across the wheat, pulse crops, machinery, education, optics, coal, and pharmaceutical sectors."