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Nebraska-China relations top agenda at ag conference
When it comes to trade, China has been the key focus of Nebraska's efforts. In fact, Nebraska's exports to China have more than doubled in the last five years.
The Nebraska-China relations were the focus of this year's governor's ag conference.
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who now chairs the Paulson Institute, spoke on the future of U.S. economic competitiveness. He says the role of foreign investment will provide big opportunities for Nebraska.
"The world has changed. It's more interconnected, it's smaller, and it's more competitive," said Paulson.
And it's that competitiveness that is driving Nebraska into the future.
"China's going to have a big need, as is Asia and many other parts of the world," Paulson said.
Over the past five years, Nebraska's exports to China have more than doubled with a 36-percent increase in 2011.
Henry Paulson, who chairs the Paulson Institute, discussed why trade to China is important to Nebraska's agriculture future during the 25th annual Governor's Ag Conference.
"Governors understand the value of investment when it leads to real jobs," said Paulson.
Governor Heineman says trade is becoming an increasingly important topic for Nebraska's businesses and agricultural economy.
In fact, Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach recently traveled to China to drum up business.
"We've met with some companies, we've met with some investment firms and we've met with government officials to see what kind of area's they might be interested in," said Ibach.
With exports to China now topping the $7 billion mark, Ibach says it's just the beginning of what's to come.
"Hopefully, later this year we'll be able to take it to the next step and perhaps invite some people and companies to come to Nebraska and discuss opportunities," said Ibach.
The Paulson Institute promotes sustainable, world economic growth with an emphasis on the US-China relationship - something Ibach says it good for all those invovled in agriculture.
"I think this creates an opportunity for agriculture producers to move the value of their raw material up the value chain," said Ibach.
China is Nebraska's fourth largest trading partner behind Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
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