Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to visit Taiwan, South Korea to strengthen economic ties

Sep 13, 2023, 2:00 PM

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announces a voluntary agreement with Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announces a voluntary agreement with Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health on a workplace safety partnership at the TSMC construction site in Phoenix on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. (KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)

(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)

PHOENIX – Gov. Katie Hobbs is heading to Taiwan and South Korea later this week, becoming the latest Arizona politician to make a pilgrimage to east Asia in an effort to strengthen economic ties.

Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson will join Hobbs on a weeklong trip to meet with business leaders and dignitaries, starting Friday.

Hobbs’ visit comes a year former Gov. Doug Ducey made a similar trek to woo suppliers for the $40 billion Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) chipmaking factories under construction in north Phoenix.

“Arizona is leading our country’s economic future, becoming a central hub for semiconductor manufacturing and the clean energy economy,” Hobbs said in a press release.

“With this trip, we will continue to strengthen our ties with critical partners and attract investments to create good-paying jobs right here in Arizona. I look forward to developing these relationships and showcasing Arizona’s world-class workforce and dynamic economy.”

What other Arizona politicians have visited Asia recently?

In July, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego traveled to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Then in August, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly visited Taiwan to meet with semiconductor industry leaders and tour TSMC’s headquarters.

“Taiwan and the Republic of Korea represent some of Arizona’s most important trading partners and growing sources of international investment and collaboration,” Watson said in the release.

“This economic delegation promises to further ties between us, leading to more jobs and investment in Arizona. I’m grateful to Gov. Hobbs for continuing to expand Arizona’s partnerships abroad.”

Where else has Katie Hobbs traveled as governor?

It won’t be Hobbs’ first overseas trip since she became governor in January.

The Democrat traveled to the Middle East in March to take part in a signing ceremony for a partnership between the Arizona National Guard and the Sultanate of Oman.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to visit Taiwan, South Korea to strengthen economic ties