A delegation of elected officials, city representatives and economic development executives from Williamson County flew to South Korea last week. As Williamson County is becoming a global destination for corporate relocations, the goal of the trip was to encourage economic development in the county and to meet with key executives at Samsung and other companies that are interested in doing business in Williamson County.
The trip included a visit to Samsung in Pyeongtaek City. Samsung’s fabrication plant in Pyeongtaek City is the largest microchip manufacturing plant in the world, and their plant currently under construction in Taylor is the largest economic development project in the United States with foreign investment.
“I made a commitment to the leadership of Samsung that if we sealed an agreement with them, that I would show them respect and visit them in their country, so I was fulfilling that commitment,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. “We are honored to have been invited and to represent the United States.”
The trip was organized by the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership, the Taylor Economic Development Corporation and representatives with Samsung. Both the city and the county met with officials from Pyeongtaek City and conducted business meetings with executives from Samsung and other companies considering locating in the Williamson County. They also met with representatives from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
“Williamson County and KOTRA established an international business agreement to promote Korean based businesses in Texas. Williamson County is proud to be the first county in the United States to partner with KOTRA,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
County Judge Bill Gravell and Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles from Williamson County along with Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell, Taylor City Manager Brian LaBorde and Mark Thomas, president and CEO of the Taylor Economic Development Corporation (EDC), were among those attending. Expenses for their trip were paid for by the Taylor EDC. Other members of the delegation included representatives from the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership and Opportunity Austin. Mayor Rydell and Mr. LaBorde brought their spouses at their own expense.
“This trip has opened up new doors and new opportunities to bring good paying jobs to Williamson County,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles. “It is a matter of national security that we secure manufacturing for technology in the United States. This trip was an important step toward that end.”
"What became very apparent is Williamson County is on a global center stage for investments from Korean companies,” said Dave Porter, executive director of the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership.
City of Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell said the trip was encouraging for future growth in the City of Taylor, saying, “The City of Taylor was honored to have been invited by Samsung to visit its campus in Pyeongtaek and to tour its semiconductor fabrication plant located there. We were excited at the opportunity to meet and forge a friendship with Mayor Jang Seon Jung of Pyeongtaek as we build a close and lasting relationship between our two cities. We also held meetings with several Korean companies that are considering locations in Taylor for their operations.”