PHILADELPHIA, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/-- Governor Tom Corbett joined Chilean Minister of Agriculture Luis Mayol Bouchon today to discuss new economic opportunities associated with expanding Chilean agriculture trade to the Port of Philadelphia.
"Today's visit to the Port of Philadelphia follows up my administration's efforts in South America to tout Pennsylvania and its deep water ports as a gateway to U.S. markets," said Corbett. "Already a top destination of Chilean fruit, there remains an opportunity to expand the Chilean and South American fruit trade to the Port of Philadelphia."
As a direct follow-up from Corbett's mission to South America, Chilean Minister Mayol and senior Chilean agricultural officials traveled to Pennsylvania to visit the Port of Philadelphia.
During the visit, the delegation met with Corbett and other public and private partners to discuss the growing importance of Chilean and South American fruit trade to Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania imports of Chilean commodities are of considerable interest to the state and exports of these commodities out of Chile are steadily increasing. When measured in U.S. dollars, the Port of Philadelphia ranked fifth among the nation's ports receiving goods from Chile in 2012.
In 2012, Pennsylvania imported $576.8 million worth of products from Chile. Fresh fruits, nuts and citrus accounted for just over 65 percent of all imports. Other leading agricultural imports included melons, vegetables and beverages and spirits.
Mayol's visit to Pennsylvania occurs less than one month after the governor's Jobs First mission to South America which included stops in the Brazilian states of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as Santiago, Chile.
Corbett led a delegation of business, tourism and university leaders, focusing on creating new economic opportunities for job growth, including increasing agricultural and commodity trading opportunities.
"We are excited to host the Chilean delegation in Pennsylvania and for them to see firsthand the vast business opportunities associated with the state's Delaware River access to the Atlantic," Corbett said. "Continuing to strengthen free trade between Pennsylvania and Chile will result in new economic and job creating opportunities for both regions."
For more information about the governor's Jobs First mission to Brazil and Chile, visit www.paglobal.org.
Kelli Roberts, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Steve Kratz, DCED; 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor