Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
International business is increasingly important and beneficial to Nebraska's economic strength. Global trade and investment generates in excess of 56,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in new money here each year.
During the last four years, Nebraska recorded 29 international investments from 12 countries. These investments totaled more than $4.17 billion and created more than 1,400 jobs in the state. Exports from Nebraska also have increased rapidly. In 2011, we exported $7.5 billion, a 30% increase from 2010.
To help expand Nebraska's trade efforts, I will be leading an upcoming trade mission to China. Joining me will be 35 business and industry leaders, including Catherine Lang, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, economic development professionals and representatives from the University of Nebraska.
China is a logical choice for this next mission. China has been the second most active foreign investor during the past three years with six new investments in Nebraska. In addition, 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.
Export product areas are diverse and include: automotive machinery manufacture, medical equipment and supplies, educational materials, processed foods, water purification systems, lawn maintenance equipment, sporting goods, electronic equipment, transportation equipment, and grain handling and storage equipment.
The trade mission will include stops in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, China. This will mark the 11th trade mission undertaken by my administration.
We plan to meet with many company officials who have attended our previous two Reverse Trade Missions. In 2008, I hosted Nebraska's first ever Reverse Trade Mission, where we had 140 international attendees, with approximately 60 from China. This last September, I hosted the state's second Reverse Trade Mission, which had 115 attendees, with approximately 50 from China.
Our goal is to generate new markets for many Nebraska products and our hope is to attract Chinese companies that want to expand into the American market, especially those interested in doing business in Nebraska.
This trade mission represents an important opportunity to explore business development efforts that will benefit communities here at home for years to come. We want to make this trip a success for all those involved, and I look forward to leading a delegation that includes a wide variety of interests here in Nebraska.