Delaware Governor Jack Markell is leading a trade mission to Santiago and Valparaíso this week in order to renew a commercial agreement between Chile and the Port of Wilmington, USA.
The busy port, which employs over 15,000 people, is one of the main points of entry for Chilean fruit shipments heading to the east coast of the United States.
During his stay, Governor Markell and the other members of the delegation will meet with Chilean authorities and private sector representatives as well as participate in a business breakfast with the Chilean-North American Chamber of Commerce.
In announcing the visit, the governor signaled that the delegation’s primary objective was to re-sign the port agreement, which relates to storage and distribution of food products exported from Chile.
It is estimated that Chilean fruit exports generate 650 jobs and around US$2.6 million in tax income.
Joining Governor Markell in the delegation are the director of the Delaware Economic Development Office and president of the State Port Corporation, Alan Levin; the director and sub-director of the State Port Corporation, Gene R. Bailey and Tom Keefer; the vice president of Pacific Delaware Inc., Pat Farrell; and the honorary consul of Chile in Philadelphia, Benjamin Leavenworth.
Markell became governor of Delaware in 2009 after serving as the state’s treasurer for eight years.