On behalf of my organization, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, I recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wellness Information Technology Association based near Seoul to increase business opportunities between Korea and Fairfax County. There are a few really good reasons to do this.

First, there are a lot of similarities between the IT communities in Korea and Fairfax County, which is the business center of the Washington, D.C., area.  Both have world-class companies in a wide range of IT sectors, and both areas have many companies that want to explore new market opportunities. For example, there are more than 50 companies from Korea already operating in Fairfax County.

Second, there is a tremendous connection between the two areas because Fairfax County has a thriving Korean-American community. Nearly 40,000 people of Korean heritage live in the county. There are many businesses of all kinds run by Korean-Americans, and this community is increasingly active in all facets of community life here.

Third, health IT is a growing business in both areas. In Fairfax County, for example, the Inova Health System has launched its Inova Center for Personalized Health that will draw on many kinds of technology to treat diseases and help people live longer lives. Inova is looking for partners in the United States and internationally to help it fulfill this mission.

The agreement between my office and the Wellness IT Association commits both sides to explore research and business opportunities that can benefit Fairfax County and Korea, and conduct events that can help business people in both areas learn about market opportunities, potential partners and customers. Improved connectivity can strengthen the economy in both locales.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority has had a permanent representative in Seoul since 2005 to work with Korean companies interested in US market opportunities. Charles Kim, director of our Seoul office, can be reached at FairfaxKorea@fceda.org. We look forward to working with more Korean health IT companies and businesses of all kinds.

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., is the president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, the second-largest suburban office markets in the United States. He has been with the FCEDA since late 1983. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, a master’s degree from George Washington University, and a doctorate in International Economics from the Catholic University of America.