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City, county will aid global trade

New panel grew from Korea trip

Medford and Jackson County have each contributed $30,000 to a new commissioncreated to expand global economic development links.

Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SO-REDI) formed theJackson County Commission on American-Asian Affairs.

It's an outgrowth of a trade mission to Korea by Jackson County CommissionerRic Holt and Ralph Wehinger, president of Ore-Cal Trade Corp.

Ore-Cal, which operates the Foreign Trade Zone for Jackson County, willalso contribute to the financing, said Gordon Safley, executive directorof SO-REDI.

The commission originally focused on Asian nations, but was expandedto include opportunities in Canada, Mexico and Central America, Safley said.

It's to promote and develop trade relations, he said. Wehope it will increase economic development and develop exchanges among studentsand business people.

The commission will be operated by the SO-REDI staff and headed by aboard of directors including three city appointees, three county appointeesand one representative each from Ore-Cal, SO-REDI and the Upper Rogue EducationalConsortium.

The $60,000 from the city and county provide for operations for the firstyear.

The first expense will cover the cost of receiving a political delegationfrom Korea coming to the Rogue Valley on July 27, Safley said. He estimatedthat will cost about $10,000.

Future funding levels remain to be seen, he added.