WAILUKU - Mayor Alan Arakawa and officials from Maui's visitor and business sectors said Friday that their recent trip to Japan and South Korea has resulted in some positive initiatives that could help the county's economy and technology sector grow.
Doug McLeod, Maui County's energy commissioner, said at a news conference Friday that the county will be in discussions with Hitachi regarding renewable energy off-grid possibilities, along with smart-grid technology and buses that can run on electric power.
McLeod was one of five county officials who made the South Korea and Japan trip Aug. 19 to Sept. 2. Council Members Elle Cochran and Joe Pontanilla also made the trip.
Officials from Maui Economic Development Board, Maui Visitors Bureau, Hotel Wailea and the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) also joined the entourage and paid their own way, the county said.
Harold Keyser of CTAHR said that following the trip and after meeting with South Korean importers, two South Korean businesses will come to Maui to meet with Maui product producers.
He added that a South Korean shopping website also is interested in posting a section on its website just for Maui products, which could include travel tours to Maui.