Leggett, Governor Lee of Chungbuk Province, Korea Discuss Strategic Economic Collaboration
Rockville, MD -- Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett recently met with the newly-elected Governor of Chungbuk Province, Korea, the Honorable Si Jong Lee, and public and private sector members of his delegation during the Governor’s first visit to the United States. Chungbuk Province and Montgomery County have enjoyed a close strategic partnership since 2004 when they signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and promote the growth of the biotech and advanced technology industries in both regions.
“I am pleased to have the Honorable Governor Lee here in Montgomery County as we continue to strengthen the County’s relationship with Chungbuk,” said Leggett. “Our relationship was made even stronger following my 2008 business development mission to Chungbuk. We now look forward to further leveraging this strategic partnership beyond the biotech sectors to the renewable energy sector, which both Chungbuk and Montgomery County hope to significantly expand.”
The former Governor of Chungbuk led several business development missions to Montgomery County between 2007 and 2009, and the County reciprocated with a 2008 business development mission to Korea led by Leggett and the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED).
Chungbuk is positioning itself as a leader in the renewable energy sector, with a special emphasis on solar energy. For Governor Lee’s visit, DED has facilitated several meetings between local companies, LG Life Sciences, Chungbuk Renewable Energy Association, Chungbuk Techno Park and the Maryland Clean Energy Center. The County will expand and leverage its relationship with Chungbuk to focus on local economic opportunities tied to Chungbuk’s growing renewable energy sector.
The Korean delegation spent the afternoon visiting the County’s Shady Grove and Germantown Innovation Centers and also toured Rockville vaccine development biotech company Novavax.
Visits and exchanges highlight the foreign direct investment component of the County’s overall economic development strategy, and South Korea is one of the County’s key target countries. To date, seven Korean-headquartered companies have located their U.S. operations in Montgomery County: Daewoong (Rockville Innovation Center), Macrogen USA (Shady Grove Innovation Center), Seegene (Shady Grove Innovation Center), Hanall Pharmaceutical (Johns Hopkins/MoCo campus), RNL Biostar (Germantown Innovation Center); Woori Bank (Wheaton); and Biz International Inc. (Germantown Innovation Center).
Montgomery County is home to 135 foreign-headquartered firms from 24 countries. Over the past four years, DED helped attract 21 companies from 10 foreign countries, resulting in the creation of nearly 83 jobs in the County.