Foreign consuls come to city
June 5, 2019
This corner of the Gorge may see more interest in foreign trade, thanks to a meeting convened Friday at Maryhill Museum. The City of Goldendale and the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce hosted the event for local government and trade officials to meet with foreign consuls from four nations. The city and Chamber were both taking advantage of city council member Miland Walling's many contacts in government. Touring the proposed pump-storage site to the east prior to the meeting at Maryhill, consuls from Poland, Germany, South Korea, and Ethiopia told local officials they were impressed with the plan and intrigued by some of the opportunities for increased trade with Eastern Washington.
German consul Ulrich Fischer said one specific idea had already occurred to him. Seeing the many vineyards and wineries in Klickitat County, he suggested that he could help set up an exchange program for those studying viticulture at Washington State University. He said that he already had a contact with a viticulture program at a university in Germany but would welcome one with what he called "the Harvard of the West, which is WSU."
Fischer explained that his son recently graduated from Washington State after the line drew a big laugh from the crowd.
Teresa Indelak Davis, representing Poland, said that about 55,000 people of Polish descent live in Washington and that her mission was to "maintain and develop further relations between Poland and Washington State in the areas of business, education, cultural exchange and overall mutual understanding."
South Korean deputy consul Seung-In Hong noted that his country manufactured such items as Samsung phones, LG appliances, and Kia and Hyundai automobiles. He also referenced 2012's international hit "Gagnum Style," from Korean signer Psy, as well as the contemporary Korean boy band sensation BTS.
And Mark M. Gantor, an American businessman who's spent time in Ethiopia shared some surprising facts about that country. He told listeners that it was the only country in Africa that had never been colonized, that it was the second largest in Africa in population with over 100 million people, that its airlines had more business than all the other African airlines combined, and that it was the 15th safest place in the world to live.
About 33 people attended, including Mayor Mike Canon, members of the Goldendale and Mt. Adams Chambers of Commerce, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, and staffers for Senator Maria Cantwell and Governor Jay Inslee,
Both Goldendale Chamber Executive Director Dana Peck and Mayor Canon said they were pleased with the turnout and the reception given to their guests, and they expected to do more of these meetings.