Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said Monday that his weeklong trip to China helped increase Nebraska's visibility to Chinese officials, who are more familiar with U.S. coastal states.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Heineman said the visit laid the groundwork for Nebraska businesses that want to expand into the world's largest nation and helped strengthen ties between the two governments.
"This is a market where China knows a lot about the two coasts in America, but not about the heartland of America," Heineman said in a conference call, after returning to Nebraska. "Part of it is just educational and making sure they understand what your state has to offer."
The trip included several agreements between Nebraska and the Chinese government, including a "sister state" relationship between Nebraska and the Shaanxi Province and a new trade office in Shanghai. Heineman also agreed to work with a Chinese trade council to help connect Chinese and Nebraska businesses.
Heineman said he emphasized the quality of Nebraska businesses and products during his talks with Chinese officials, and he made sure they knew that world-famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett hails from Omaha.
The governor led a delegation of Nebraska business leaders and state officials on the trade mission, with stops in the cities of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. The trip included business leaders from Kimball, Hastings, Columbus, Deshler, Beatrice, Plattsmouth, Laurel, Chapman, Omaha and Lincoln.
"The Nebraska-China relationship is just beginning, and I'm confident this will be a growing and improving relationship for many years to come," Heineman said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)