WORLD TRADE CENTER SAN DIEGO CONVENES REGIONAL LEADERS TO HELP BUSINESSES IN SAN DIEGO MEGA-REGION EXPAND GLOBALLY, CREATE LOCAL JOBS
In order to foster vital global economic partnerships, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, SANDAG and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, and World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), are leading a trade delegation to South Korea. During the October 27—November 2 trade mission, business and civic leaders will promote the region’s key industries and seek to establish and strengthen business relationships across biotechnology, semiconductors, clean energy, and infrastructure.
Monumental federal legislation (IIJA, IRA, and CHIPS and Science Act), combined with a generational shift in U.S. industrial strategy aimed at reducing American reliance on China, have positioned South Korea as a natural partner in critical industries. As the federal government continues to incentivize the reshoring and nearshoring of activities aligned to national priorities, leaders from across San Diego, Imperial Valley, and Tijuana are maximizing growth through global connection.
“South Korea is a critical global market and a natural partner for San Diego as we share complementary strengths in the life sciences, clean energy, and biotechnology sectors,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “I’m proud to again join the World Trade Center San Diego on a trade mission to strengthen business relationships and grow quality jobs here at home for San Diegans.”
Home to Asia’s third busiest cargo airport and seventh largest port, South Korea is an emerging hub for global trade and business. As the U.S. strengthens its alliances in East Asia, San Diego finds in South Korea an economy with shared expertise in knowledge-intensive industries, including personalized medicine, semiconductor research and manufacturing, and clean energy. South Korean-based companies directly employ more than 850 San Diegans, predominantly in the technology and manufacturing industries at companies like Samsung and Hyundai. Notably, the U.S. and South Korea hold the #1 and #2 spots, respectively, in global market share of the semiconductor industry. Further, South Korean investment into the U.S. is accelerating, with $18.2 billion in new investment since mid-2020 alone. South Korea is the #13 country investing venture capital into San Diego by deal count, closely behind Germany and Singapore (2014—2020), primarily in the pharmaceuticals and technology industries.
“The binational mega-region has always been a remarkable place, but at this moment for the global economy, we can compete like never before,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and senior vice president at San Diego Regional EDC. “With San Diego’s innovation ecosystem, Imperial Valley’s clean energy leadership, and Tijuana’s advanced manufacturing prowess, we have all the necessary pieces to anchor the supply chains of the future: collaboratively, efficiently, and sustainably.”
“I am looking forward to showcasing the advancements in clean energy technology, life sciences, and port infrastructure to elevate the best of what our binational region has to offer and identify new partnerships with South Korea to foster innovation and economic growth for both our regions,” said SANDAG and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas. “This is an opportunity to increase trade and share new ideas that will help develop lasting solutions to improve our region’s infrastructure, transportation, and economy for the residents of San Diego County.”
Over the four-day trade mission in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province, San Diego will look to build lasting institutional relationships and attract foreign investment in industries that are critical to the future.
Agenda items include:
- The celebration of a partnership between San Diego-based medtech company Dexcom and South Korean-based tech giant Kakao, which will enable Dexcom to bring its next-generation glucose monitoring capabilities to the South Korean market
- Opportunities to showcase major regional development projects for foreign investors, including the Seaport Village redevelopment, Lithium Valley in Imperial County, as well as San Diego State University and UC San Diego’s campus expansions
- Meetings with Port, Airport, and infrastructure partners to better connect our regions through nonstop air and liner service, as well as sharing energy transition innovations
- Government convenings with the Governor of Gyeonggi and the Mayor of Siheung together with Mayor Todd Gloria and SANDAG and County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas
- Formal meetings and tours of major employers in both regions, including Qualcomm, Illumina, and Samsung Biologics
Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and driving business connectivity across many verticals. The two dozen San Diego delegates include representatives from Illumina, Qualcomm, Viasat, ASML, Cubic, General Dynamics NASSCO, Gafcon, and small businesses including Tioga Research and Nano PharmaSolutions. Also in attendance are delegates from key agencies, universities, and civic organizations such as Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Imperial Valley EDC, Tijuana EDC, and others.
The trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the U.S. Embassy in South Korea, and sponsorship by Dentons, Townshend Venture Advisors, and Qualcomm.
Follow along with the trade mission: #SDinKR
Thank you to our trade mission sponsors: