Gov. Dave Heineman today announced that he will lead a delegation of Nebraskans on a trade mission to China July 28 -- August 3, 2012. The trade mission includes stops in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, China. This will mark the eleventh trade mission by Gov. Heineman's administration.
"Today's announcement represents an important continuation of our trade efforts," Gov. Dave Heineman said. "China is a growing export market for Nebraska and it is important that we continue to explore new opportunities. We hope to generate new markets for many Nebraska products and our hope is to attract Chinese companies who want to expand into the American market, especially those interested in doing business in Nebraska."
Joining Gov. Heineman on this trade mission will be approximately thirty-five business leaders including Catherine Lang, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, economic development professionals from several Nebraska communities, representatives from the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska industry leaders.
China is Nebraska's fourth largest trading partner and one of the state's fastest growing markets, having more than doubled during the past five years with a 36% increase in 2011. Combined exports totaled more than $380 million last year, up from nearly $279 million in 2010.
This trade mission is funded in part by a State Trade and Export Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The STEP program's objective is to increase the number of companies exporting and the value of those exports. Nebraska Department of Economic Development administers the grant program which allows the Department to reimburse companies participating in the U.S. Department of Chamber Gold Key, International Partner Search or International Company Profile components.