Gov. Locke: Washington Trade Mission Successful

Washington state’s Gov. Gary Locke has announced that his international trade mission to China and Vietnam was extremely successful, with businesses on the mission reporting actual sales of $1.4 million and an estimated $41.4 million in projected sales during the next 12 months.

Locke led a 26-member delegation of business, agriculture and education leaders from around the state on the 10-day mission. Among those on the trip was Pat Boss, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission.

"The event exceeded my wildest expectations," Boss said about the promotion where Locke served french fries in a Ho Chi Minh City KFC. "With over 8 million people in Ho Chi Minh City and 80 million in Vietnam, the event was fantastic."

Washington is the second largest potato growing state and number one producer of french fries in the United States. In 1995, there were no U.S. french fries entering the Vietnam. But last year, Vietnam imported almost 220 tons. The majority of those shipments were made in Washington state processing plants and shipped through Washington state ports.

For more information about the China and Vietnam trade mission, visit

Originally posted Monday, Oct. 18, 2004