Gov. Dave Heineman hopes a week in China will reap benefits for Nebraska businesses for years to come.
Heineman has returned from a trade mission to three cities in China.
Heineman told reporters during a conference call this morning that Nebraska needs to be patient as it works with China.
“I want to emphasize that developing business relationships in China take time, just like it does in America,” Heineman said. “Good business relationships develop and improve as you get to know each, trust each other and become reliable partners.”
Heineman said he went to China to expand opportunities for Nebraska businesses operating in China, to open opportunities for Nebraska firms seeking to break into the Chinese market and to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Nebraska.
This was the second trade mission Heineman has led to China. The other occurred in 2007. Nebraska has hosted Chinese businesses executives during “reverse” trade missions in 2008 and 2011. Nebraska exports to China have grown by 30% annually the past three years, making China Nebraska’s fourth largest trading partner.
The governor along with business executives and educators visited Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.
The group celebrated the first anniversary of Right at Home China, a homecare services provider that originated in Nebraska. An agreement between the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Tongji University was finalized during the trade mission. Nebraska opened its first trade office in China: The Nebraska Center – Shanghai. The governor participated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Nebraska and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), which has officially sponsored all of the state’s trade missions to China since 1991.
Heineman said Nebraska must work to make China aware of what it has to offer.
“This is a market where China knows a lot about the two coasts of America, but not much about the heartland of America,” Heineman stated. “And, so, part of it is just educational and making sure they understand what your state has to offer.”
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman discusses trade mission to China. [4 min.]