Gov. Dave Heineman announced the opening of Nebraska Center China today during a news conference at the NET-TV studios in Lincoln that featured a video link with a delegation in Shanghai.
Nebraska Center China, located in Shanghai, is the state’s first trade office in China.
“The Nebraska Center in China will serve as a gateway for Nebraska business leaders and their companies to enter or expand in China,” Heineman said during a breakfast that included Nebraska business executives and Chinese officials. “We will offer the key services that businesses need to expand into this vital, high-growth Asian market.”
Nebraska has been doing just that. China ranks as Nebraska’s fourth largest trading partner. Nebraska exports to China have more than doubled in the past five years, growing to more than $380 million last year.
Heineman said the center will work with Nebraska businesses in selling goods to China.
“Businesses can expect to receive counseling that relates to all major markets, the promotion of products and services, help with locating potential business partners, and developing new customer bases, representation at trade shows, and ongoing communications,” Heineman stated.
One of the key areas of growth is expected to be value-added agricultural exports, but Heineman added that a wide range of opportunity for Nebraska businesses is waiting in China.
State Economic Director Cathy Lang, speaking via a video-link from Shanghai, said it was important to have a physical presence in China.
“We have great relationships throughout China and the Nebraska Center China will strengthen our focus on developing new and existing relationships throughout the country,” according to Lang.
Shanghai is a key economic trade center for China with many direct flights to major American cities.
AUDIO: Gov. Heineman hosts breakfast to announce opening of Nebraska Center China. [17 min.]