Gov. Pete Ricketts prepares for his second trade mission, this time to Japan.
Lt. Governor Mike Foley is already in Japan.
Gov. Ricketts will go on Saturday.
“Japan is the largest foreign investor in Nebraska and so we hope to build on those relationships,” Ricketts tells news reporters when asked about the trip.
As an example, State Economic Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen notes Kawasaki builds light-rail passenger cars, ATVs, personal watercraft, and utility vehicles at its manufacturing plant in Lincoln.
“And that’s just one small area,” according to Hicks-Sorensen. “When you look across the state, again, we have significant investments from Japanese companies into Nebraska.”
Japan buys a significant amount of Nebraska goods as well, especially agricultural exports. Japan buys approximately 20% of the beef exported from Nebraska. Around half the pork exported from Nebraska is bought by the Japanese.
A major event of the trip will be the US Midwest-Japan Association Conference, which the governor will attend. Ricketts says the event gives him a great opportunity to network with Japanese companies.
Aflac Insurance officials will be traveling with the governor’s delegation. Aflac has strong ties to Japan.
In addition, the governor plans a side-trip to China. He will travel for a day to Beijing, China to discuss trade and assess how the downturn in China’s economy might impact the Nebraska economy.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]