Idaho Gov. Butch Otter was honored in Taiwan on April 23 for his work with that nation, which spans more than a quarter century. Otter was awarded the Friends of Foreign Service Medal by David Lin, minister of foreign affairs.
Idaho and Taiwan have long maintained a strong relationship educationally and with trade. The state and Taiwan have, for example, made numerous academic exchanges between colleges and universities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sponsored Idaho legislative missions to Taiwan for many years and much of Idaho's legislative leadership over the past several years has visited Taiwan.
Since 1984, Idaho has maintained a sister state relationship with Taiwan. Under this agreement, both parties agree to cooperate in the exchange of business, education, tourism and agriculture.
In 1989, Idaho opened a full-time trade office in Taipei with Eddie Yen as its head. Yen continues to manage the office.
In 2012, Taiwan was Idaho's fourth largest export destination with sales of more than $754.5 million. Given Taiwan's relatively small population of 23 million, Taiwan is Idaho's second largest export destination on a per capita basis.
Top Idaho exports include: semiconductors, paper products, lumber and engineered wood products, log homes, computer components, personal care products, food and agriculture products (wheat, dairy products, beef and pork, cattle hides, processed potatoes, apples, white flesh peaches, cherries, wine and peas/lentils).