Bringing the East to the West

globeIn the Kearney Hub yesterday, Governor Dave Heineman waxed eloquently about Nebraska’s partnerships with potential trading partners.

The Governor (and the state) is working to make Nebraska a better and more fertile place for startups and potential businesses. As a result, not just national companies, but international companies as well, are seeing the appeal of doing business here in Nebraska and making choices that reflect that.

One example Heineman pointed out is a valuable relationship that many Nebraskans may not be aware of: Nebraska’s strong ties with Japan. Recently, the Midwest U.S-Japan Association held their annual conference in the nearby city of Des Moines, and the 2006 inauguration of the Nebraska Center-Japan was just another step to strengthening commerce and exploring potential business partners with our Japanese colleagues. The key to a successful manufacturing economy isn’t remaining close-minded, but rather growing networks and relationships that can truly help foster new methods of understanding between nations.

The key isn’t only having foreign manufacturers located here, but having the contacts for our existing manufacturers to import and export on a larger scale. Future economic growth in Nebraska really depends on how we interact with companies outside of the state: today, 272,000 jobs in Nebraska depend on trade relationships. This is key for small business, too: 84% of our exports are from small or medium sized companies. Fortunately, we’re lucky to have an incredible amount of diversity and variety to work and grow with amongst these businesses and more.

As evidenced in Heineman’s explanation of close ties with our Japanese friends, companies such as Kawasaki (with a thriving rail car division) have invited other Japanese supply parts companies to locate here as well. From mayonnaise and egg product producer QP Corporation to Mitsubishi subsidiary Agrex Inc., there are a wide variety of companies doing business in Nebraska. Recently, Marubeni, one of the oldest and largest Japanese trading houses, acquired Gavilon, an Omaha company specializing in food commodities. It is constructing a new headquarters and expanding employment in Omaha, says Heineman

According to the Nebraska Center-China, China is also one of Nebraska’s fastest growing markets and currently our fourth largest trading partner. Easyway International, an international transportation logistics service to deal with imports and exports, recently visited Nebraska and incorporated and opened operations in La Vista. Other Chinese companies looking to open a location in Nebraska are welcomed by the International Transition Team, a group that helps ease the transition into American—helping with everything from immigration assistance to employee relocation.

Questions? Want to learn more about foreign investment here in Nebraska? A great resource is this PDF with some key facts and figures about our trade relationships and how this impacts manufacturing in many ways. And as always, leave a comment or send us a tweet anytime!

photo credit: stu_spivack via photopin cc