Governor Helps Nebraska Businesses Compete in China


Governor Dave Heineman touts the state's economic strength, as Grand Island plays hosts to a trade show with an international flavor.

In a global marketplace, Nebraska finds itself competing with China for business. Gov. Heineman hopes to give homegrown businesses an advantage.

Companies face a lot of obstacles, like language and culture, so the state is trying to help.

The Nebraska Product Show is being held in Grand Island, the first time it's ever been outside Lincoln or Omaha.

A number of Chinese businesses are selling their wares.

At the same time, the governor says Nebraska continues to make a push into Asia.

Gov. Heineman said, "That's why we've opened new office in Shanghai. We've got one in Tokyo and I want to continue to talk to businesses about working together to create more competitive job environment in the future."

Gov. Heineman recently led a trade mission to China. But he said it's important to maintain a permanent office.

Gov. Heineman said, "How it helps us is it gives an office for Nebraska companies to understand how China works, how things work in Japan. Those countries are different and to the extent we can assist them in their efforts we want to do that."

The governor is selling the Chinese on Nebraska's strong manufacturing sector.

At the same time, he encouraged young people here to consider those career fields.

He said, "We want kids to go on, as I said, to college for a couple years, maybe technical or community college, become welders. There are so many opportunities when you talk about manufacturing jobs that pay $60, 70, 80,000 a year."

Gov. Heineman issued a proclamation in honor of manufacturing. Congressman Adrian Smith accepted an award from the National Association of Manufacturers as well.

The Chinese brought a delegation of about 50, selling everything from pencil sharpeners to industrial lights, while Nebraska businesses sell everything from fork lifts to agricultural equipment.