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Nebraska Governor Pillen wants state to do more business with Vietnam

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(The Center Square) – Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen sees potential for his state to do more business with Vietnam.

Pillen recently had a week-long visit to Vietnam with a delegation of more than 20 people to explore potential collaborative opportunities between the two places. He also met with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the trip.

“The focus of the trip with threefold – agriculture, manufacturing, and increasing educational exchanges,” Pillen said in a press release issued by his office. “Vietnam is a quickly developing country with a growing middle class. They are very interested in a relationship with Nebraska and in the products that we are ready and able to offer.”

During the trip, the delegation found beef and pork products at grocery stores and met with a prominent chef who uses Nebraska ingredients when making dishes.

“Vietnam has nearly 100 million people, and the median age is 32,” Pillen said in the release. “They want to make the leap from a developing country to a developed one and are looking for partners who can help in that regard. Nebraska has a lot to offer to support those efforts.”

The Nebraska delegation met with ministers and vice ministers in the offices of foreign affairs, industry and trade, and agriculture and rural development.

Pillen said that in addition to animal production, Nebraska’s feed grains could help Vietnam’s livestock and aquaculture markets.

“For companies with representatives on this trip, it was a chance to connect with existing customers and to develop relationships with new ones,” Pillen said in the release. “They signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to further solidify those partnerships in hopes that they will lead to even greater trade opportunities.”

The delegation also looked for educational collaborative opportunities during the trip.

University of Nebraska – Omaha Chancellor, Dr. Joanne Li, met with academic leaders from two universities. At Eastern International University (EIU), representatives from Nebraska and Vietnam signed an agreement regarding collaborations in advanced manufacturing and technology. Plus, representatives signed another agreement at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) to promote exchange relationships with students and faculty.

As Vietnam moves from a largely rural agricultural society to one that is more focused on manufacturing, they will need the education and skills that we can provide through Nebraska’s university and state college systems,” Pillen said in the release.

Additionally, Governor Pillen signed a memorandum of understanding to establish friendly relations with the Bin Doung Province.

Vice Governor H.E. Mai Hung Dung visited Nebraska last summer and attended the Governor’s Ag and Economic Development Summit.

The two regions want to strengthen their ties in agriculture, irrigation, construction, manufacturing, health care, and education.

“There is so much interest in what we have to offer – and that really is about what Nebraska has to offer,” Pillen said in the release. “The Vietnamese people share many common characteristics with Nebraskans – hard work, determination, and a desire for a better future. I have no doubt that there are many collaborations that will prove to be mutually beneficial going forward.”Pillen said he plans to visit the country again and wants to keep building positive relations with it.

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