Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts announced the formation of the Governor’s Council on International Relations and expanded his administration’s intent to grow Nebraska through exports.
Ricketts said “Whether we are talking about increasing beef exports, getting direct investment back here in our state, or student cultural exchanges, all of these help expand and contribute to our growth here in Nebraska”. Council members will use existing relationships to help other Nebraska groups wanting to expand overseas.
Ricketts wants,”to be able to help coordinate and leverage all the resources that all these organizations have overseas” and “what we want to do is bring together all these different groups, so that we can better coordinate and better leverage our efforts”.The announcement came just before the second annual Governor’s Summit on Economic Development in Lincoln.
The council will help coordinate Nebraska business, agriculture, and education groups overseas. Ricketts said at the conference, “what this will allows us to do is keep in good communication with what everybody is doing, help us really leverage those relationships, leverage those resources that we all have. that we are all putting toward international development, and focus on how we can develop new strategies for increasing trade, seeking that direct foreign investment back here in our state that creates those jobs, and looking for other ways to raise the profile of Nebraska around the world”.
Barry Kennedy, of the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce, said more exports means a stronger economy. “It creates jobs, it creates employment opportunities, gives people the opportunity to live here in Nebraska, buy homes here, pay taxes here, contribute to growing our economy, and making an overall better quality of life for all of us”.
Dan Nerud of Dorchester, representing the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, said 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside of our borders and more experts can help future generations. “It’s not only the family farm, it’s any business connected with agriculture. I belive this will help expand and keep businesses here, not only grow, but keep them here expand more and give more for our children and grandchildren”.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green said the existence of the Council will help recruit businesses to partner with UNL and Innovation Campus. “They want to know when they come here that theres a unified effort of the place, so it’s not just the university, that it’s the state, that it’s the citizen, it’s a platform of economic development that is beyond us, so having our platform like this is a big help for us in that regard”. The Council will consist of top-level leaders from 20 organizations heavily involved in Nebraska’s international efforts.