MO State HS Sports
(AUDIO): Missouri’s governor says Columbia-area is benefiting from overseas trade missions

(AUDIO): Missouri’s governor says Columbia-area is benefiting from overseas trade missions

Missouri Governor Mike Parson (right) speaks to Swift Prepared Foods president Tom Lopez on April 6, 2023, as an unidentified man looks on (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Missouri’s governor says overseas trade missions that he and Missouri lawmakers go on have paid dividends for the state. The trips are funded by the Hawthorn Foundation, a Missouri nonprofit organization.

Governor Mike Parson mentioned the trade missions during the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $200-million Swift Foods plant in Columbia.

“When you go overseas and you start selling Missouri, you’ve got to go over there and have your A game on because every other state is over there trying to get business too. But I’m telling you, when you look at this region of the state, Columbia, Missouri, what it has to offer with the University, a growing community, a workforce, infrastructure that we keep excelling in, those are all the things that companies look at and CEO’s look at to see what you’re doing,” Parson says.

The governor also says the new Swift foods plant highlights the importance of trade missions overseas. Swift is based in Italy.

“And we get to see the proof of it today … so it’s a good day,” Parson says.

The governor praises Columbia and mid-Missouri, saying Swift executives were very interested in the quality of life for their employees here. Governor Parson describes the overseas trade missions as  another opportunity to strengthen existing relationships while encouraging future investment and growth.

Governor Parson and the First Lady also spent a week in March in Sweden and Germany, which are key trade partners for Missouri. Sweden and Germany had $29-million and $680-million in exports in 2022, respectively.