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WSU Joins Forces with Korea to Research Rural Economics, Economic Development

PULLMAN, Wash. – The economic health of rural areas on both sides of the Pacific Rim is the focus of a new partnership between Washington State University’s School of Economic Sciences and the Korean Rural Economic Institute.

Representatives from both organizations have signed a formal memorandum of understanding to create a teaching, research and extension partnership focused on rural economic development.

“The similarities and differences in rural economic development on both sides of the Pacific Rim will provide an excellent foundation for research, teaching and extension activities,” said WSU Regents Professor Ron Mittelhammer, director of SES in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Professor Thomas Marsh, who directs WSU’s IMPACT center within SES, agreed. “The recent downturn in the world economy emphasizes the impact of international trade and relationships on the Washington economy,” he said. Marsh said that South Korea is an important trading partner with the U.S., and the agreement will lead to mutually agreed upon cooperative and collaborative projects with potential benefit for one another and will include a variety of student and faculty exchanges and collaborations.

Se-Ik Oh, president of the Korea Rural Economic Institute in Seoul, recently traveled to Pullman, meeting with WSU representatives and participating in a signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding. The five-year partnership begins immediately.

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Media Contacts

Thomas Marsh, WSU IMPACT Center, 509-335-6653
Ron Mittelhammer, WSU School of Economic Sciences, 509-335-5555
Se-Ik Oh, Korea Rural Economic Institute, seikoh@krei.re.kr