During the recent Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted nearly 200 U.S. and international visitors in Omaha for the 2019 Nebraska Business and Trade Investment Conference.
“Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting is a premier event that attracts talent to Nebraska from all over the world,” said Governor Ricketts. “Every year, we work to ensure that our international guests come away with a better understanding of what sets Nebraska apart and why we’re a great place to invest and do business.”
The Business and Trade Investment Conference is held yearly on the weekend of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. That event attracts high-profile dignitaries and business leaders from around the globe to Nebraska; as such, the conference seizes upon an opportunity to welcome guests from all over the world to discuss matters related to business, trade and international investment.
This year’s conference, held at Champion’s Run, was organized by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) and other partners. Omaha firm Husch Blackwell was the primary sponsor. Additional sponsors included Lindsay Corporation, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Omaha and Nebraska Public Power Districts and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, among others.
The conference kicked off with welcoming remarks from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. Governor Ricketts then provided the keynote address. During his remarks, the Governor highlighted Nebraska’s pro-growth business climate; emphasized the importance of international engagement for economic growth; and promoted expanded business, trade and investment relationships between Nebraska and the international business community.
Throughout his administration, the Governor has championed international trade and engagement as a pillar of Nebraska’s economic growth strategy. In 2017, he formed the Governor’s Council for International Relations to pursue the state’s success abroad. He has also led numerous trade missions since taking office, including to Germany, Japan, Mexico, China, Canada, Belgium, Italy, and Denmark. Additional trade missions are planned for the remainder of 2019 and beyond.
The conference continued with a presentation by sponsor Husch Blackwell. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Nebraska officials and business leaders, including DED Director Dave Rippe, Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, Preferred Popcorn Founder/CEO Norm Krug, Lindsay Corporation President of Global Agricultural Innovation Randy Wood and Worldlawn Special Advisor Hardy Shao. The panel discussion featured topics ranging from trade and foreign direct investment; Nebraska agriculture and entrepreneurial innovation; and the state’s strategic business advantages.
Jennifer Zhang, Chief Representative to China from the Nebraska Center China, concluded the event. On Saturday, the majority of the conference attendees traveled to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting at CHI Health Center Omaha.