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Polis and Colorado delegates travel on ‘investment mission’ to Japan


Polis and Colorado delegates travel on ‘investment mission’ to Japan

Mar 30, 2023 | 7:39 pm ET
By Lindsey Toomer
Polis and Colorado delegates travel on ‘investment mission’ to Japan
Gov. Jared Polis addresses the audience after being sworn in to office during his inauguration ceremony at the Colorado Capitol in Denver, Jan. 10, 2023. (Kevin Mohatt for Colorado Newsline)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and a group of global business development experts with the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade are in Japan on an “investment mission” to interact with companies, investors and Japanese leadership. 

With a focus on ideas relating to aerospace, renewable energy, technology, research and entrepreneurship, those in attendance intend to advocate international direct investment in Colorado from Japan, which is the state’s sixth-largest export trade partner.

The group will travel for meetings in Tokyo and Osaka, according to a news release from Polis’ office. 

“I am thrilled to help Colorado build new social and economic bonds and partnerships with Japan,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado’s economy is thriving and we must continue to seek out new and exciting investment opportunities and technology that could help create jobs to further boost our aerospace, renewable energy, and other booming industries.”

A group of 23 delegates from a variety of Colorado organizations are also on the trip alongside Polis, with representatives from multiple Colorado universities, the Japanese American Society of Colorado, and others including Boeing, United, the National Renewable Energy Lab, Astroscale, and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. 

Foreign direct investment from Japan could help Colorado companies be more competitive, Polis’ office said. Therefore, exchanging ideas on matters important to both Japan and Colorado, such as renewable energy, is another priority for the Coloradans on the trip.

Conor Cahill, Polis’ press secretary, said the governor paid for his own travel on the trip and that delegates were also required to pay for their own travel and expenses.

The Advanced Industries Accelerator grant program within the state’s economic development office funded two delegates’ trips. Cahill said the program was created in 2013 “to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries.”

He did not say how long the trip will last or how state employees are paying for the trip.

Polis went to India on an investment mission in 2019 during his first term in office for similar efforts. That trip cost the state about $20,000, KDRV reported, but Polis paid for some of his own expenses then, too. Delegates who attended from many of the same organizations had to pay $3,500, each for the 2019 trip.