International business and exporting is no longer a luxury for many Nebraska firms, it’s a necessity to ensure continued growth and expansion. Nebraska businesses recognize that to retain their local, regional, and national markets they must produce products that are competitive internationally even if only sold domestically.
Trade missions, trade shows, partnerships and international business activities support the Departments’ mission statement: “To provide quality leadership and services that enable Nebraska communities, businesses, and people to succeed in a global economy.”
The Office of International Trade & Investment has established a variety of programs & services to promote Nebraska’s economy through the expansion of foreign markets for Nebraska products and creating a business climate conducive to the growth of international business activities. Assistance programs available from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to Nebraska businesses across the state include:
- one-on-one counseling & technical assistance
- initial market research
- training seminars & workshops
- trade show promotion
- governor-led trade missions
- referral to local export service providers
- match marketing
- international trade directory
- international calendar of events
- Foreign Trade Zones in Nebraska
Making the best use of our resources and the experience and expertise in Nebraska is extremely important. Therefore, we network locally and nationally to eliminate duplication of efforts and provide the best information and assistance available to us. This network includes the US Department of Commerce (Business USA-Nebraska), US Small Business Administration, US Customs, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Business Development Center, Nebraska District Export Council Midwest International Trade Association, , international bankers, transportation companies, freight forwarders, attorneys, accountants, and experienced exporters across the state.
Exporting becomes a thread that runs throughout a business, affecting all aspects of the business (i.e., marketing, management, personnel, warehousing, production, quality control, accounting, etc.) Export development is an on-going process, not an event. It’s a long-term commitment for our businesses, as well as the agencies supporting their efforts.
For assistance in exploring new markets and international business opportunities contact:
Susan R. Rouch, Director
Office of International Trade & Investment
Nebraska Department of Economic Development
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
- Counseling / Technical Assistance: International staff members are available to visit on-site with companies interested in pursuing international markets. We become familiar with the company, its products, and its management in order to determine the export potential of the company and how to proceed. Assistance may be in the form of a response to an individual question, or it may take on a more long-term strategy. Our office provides information on free trade agreements, market research, export restrictions, documentation requirements, quotas, duty rates, foreign trade zones, and other special requirements for export to specific countries.
- Market Research: Limited market research is available from the Departments of Economic Development to assist in directing a company’s marketing efforts towards two or three markets rather than taking a “shotgun” approach to marketing. A Guide to Researching International Marketsis available at: not sure where this will be located.
- Seminars/Workshops: The Office of International Trade & Investment sponsors or co-sponsors several workshops annually on export documentation, market entry methods, methods of payment, country-specific workshops, and other topics based on demand from Nebraska businesses. These courses are designed to provide hands-on practice and concrete examples that will better enable Nebraska firms to prepare for export.
- Trade Show Promotion: International trade shows provide an opportunity for Nebraska firms to assess market potential, identify competitors, and establish potential business relationships in other countries. We provide an outline to prepare for participation in an international trade show. On occasion we are able to provide staff and support for Nebraska firms to collectively attend and participate by sharing booth space or other expenses.
- Governor’s Trade Missions: Each year, the Governor leads a trade and investment mission abroad. The location of the mission is determined by interest expressed by the international trade community, input from previous trade mission participants, and international trade staff from the Departments of Economic Development and Agriculture. The purpose of the trip is to assess market potential, identify potential business partners, reinforce existing business relationships and establish new business relationships.
- Referrals: Although a majority of the questions asked by Nebraska businesses can be answered or found in-house, there are some that are referred to experts in the field (i.e. bankers, freight forwarders, testing laboratories, etc.) If we don’t know the answer, most likely we will know where to find it, or who to contact to locate the needed information. An International Resource List is available at: not sure where this will be located.
Another service available from the Department is the Translator/Interpreter Corps. This list provides contacts for various foreign language needs. This list is constantly changing. If you have need of foreign language services contact the Office of International Trade & Investment for updated contact information.
- Match Marketing:Part of our program includes matching Nebraska exporters with potential overseas buyers in an effort to sell more Nebraska goods abroad. Our ability to do so depends on the information available from the Nebraska firm, as well as contacts we have made domestically and internationally.
Staff from the Department of Economic Development travel abroad, host international visitors, and network with various international individuals and agencies, making contacts and collecting information in an ongoing effort to promote the sale of Nebraska products abroad. Individual company needs are often identified, and special attention is given to collecting specific information for those firms.
International visitors come to Nebraska every day of the year. These visits can often be directed to specific firms in the State as a result of the involvement of the Department of Economic Development. Although some visitors are primarily interested in government agencies, these visitors also provide our staff with important local contacts once they have returned home. The Office of International Trade & Investment has a Guide to Hosting International Visitors from various locations available upon request. This guide may be tailored to your needs to include international customs, traditions and business etiquette as well.
- International Trade Directory: A listing of Nebraska companies with products available for export is maintained by the Office of International Trade & Investment. This list assists us in our match marketing efforts as well as allows us to contact our Nebraska exporters with monthly updates on events and related international compliance issues.
- International Calendar of Events: The Office of International Trade & Investment maintains a calendar of events relative to international trade development. These events include local and regional training events and international trade conferences that may be of interest to companies in Nebraska. The listing of events may be found at: not sure where this will be located.
- Foreign Trade Zones in Nebraska: Nebraska has two foreign trade zones, one in Lincoln (#59) and one in Omaha (#19). A Foreign Trade Zone is a special facility where foreign and domestic goods may be processed or stored without payment of custom duties and without application of certain other regulations normally applying to customs entries. Here, foreign and domestic materials may be commingled, assembled, repackaged, processed, manufactured or stored. The zone operates under a grant of authority from the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information on Nebraska’s Foreign Trade Zones, contact the Office of International Trade & Investment, Nebraska Department of Economic Development.