tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 22, 2016 2:00am-2:59am EST
i want to take this opportunity to familiarize those of you who may not be all too familiar with missouri. i am from missouri, even though there are some people from missouri as well. nonetheless, we are the show me state. the show me state throughout the years, people in missouri have been defined by their stalwart, non-flinching, mostly conservative, usually incredulous character. we like to call that common sense. one of the things i want to talk to you about is how we approach for an direct investment, even a mistake investment expansions in the state and how important that is with regards to everything we
do. it is that common sense that literally had us look inwards and put together a plan for the department moving forward. governor nixon was a huge proponent of that. he was very big on making sure we had a strategy and that we were following the strategy and making certain we were addressing all the needs that needed to be addressed. the items brought up by our two private sector panelists, on the slide here, you will see key economic indicators. i wanted to take an opportunity to tell you about some of the other key advantages we have that are not readily available
or recognizable. to that point, we are smack dab in the middle of the united states. our location is key to the success of the state of missouri. it is location, location, location. if you look at missouri, one of the things you will find, within 600 miles of our state are 62% of all the manufacturing plants in our state. in addition to that, we have an interstate system that spans all across the state, but we are fortunate, we have the scenic route 66 and hours. in addition, we have a rail system that is one of the largest in the country. 4000 miles of track, 17 freight railroads. 17 public river ports, both on the missouri and mississippi
river. last but not least, two international airports. if companies are looking to hit either one of the coasts in two days time, we have them covered. in addition, one of the other key assets we truly believe the state of missouri has is our large and prevent workforce. that has been talked about a lot today. we have literally placed a lot of resources in training and education. it is critically important.
we understand how vital it is that we expend resources in that regard. we also understand how vital it is we expend resources in that regard. our customized jobs programs, our on-the-job training program, they are national models, so we are proud of that activity as well. in addition, some other key information, our to the clusters, advanced manufacturing is critically important. these gentlemen right here, the automotive sector is very important. i want to tell the governor one more time with regards to the first thing governor nixon did the first day on the job was an executive order to literally make certain the automotive industry he put together a task force that would address the issues that face the sector in 2008 and 2009.
it is because of that and the focus we placed on the automotive sector that has led to $1.7 billion worth of investment in two of the largest manufacturers and in addition, over 66 suppliers, including magna, as a matter of fact. the automotive industry, we led the resurgence in the state of missouri. we are a truck manufacturer. we are number two in a country with regard to truck production, so we are very proud of that with regards to that cluster. biosciences, hugely, hugely important. energy as well. with regards to these clusters, we have some of the most important corporate leaders in the world located in our state.
we make everything from f1 50 trucks to f-15 military aircraft. hallmark cards to chocolate. electrical transformers to science technologies. we literally do it all. we have a diverse economy founded on manufacturing, founded on professional services and with regards to tourism and agriculture, not to belittle our agriculture sector, we are a large agricultural state and the bag technologies are critically important to us. just to round things off, we have talked about talent and how important that is. we have realized that is very
important in missouri. of our workers, 3 million of missouri's workers, just over half the population are highly educated with a degree of some sort. in addition, we have 140 degree certifying institutions in the state. also with regards to that, the interesting thing is we were above the national martin. there's more educated people in the state of missouri than nationally. that's another factor we are proud of and we want to make certain we continue in education to make sure we move the dial in that regard. lastly, we are a low-tech state, a low cost of living state. we have low energy costs as well, which is critically important.
we are a very stable state. aaa bond ratings, one of only four states for over 50 years. we balance the budget and make certain our financial house is always in order and we make certain we are taking business in a responsible and commonsensical manner. it is knows price companies like add, and others like kawasaki and toyota called missouri home. i'm excited to be on the panel and have this discussion and to look at ways we can address the business models and business needs of companies as we work with them to locate in the state.
>> i would like to turn it over to donovan johnson, the director of the global resource management group in the north dakota office. >> i appreciate the opportunity to be here and thank you for the invitation to represent the great state of north dakota. i'm with the north dakota trade office and we deal with the export related to issues and north dakota and we partner with the economic development finance through commerce, which is where we fall under foreign direct investment. we take a team approach to what we try to achieve. north dakota is somewhat of a unique state. a little information on the state on where we are and what we do. we are considered a rural state, so we have some of the advantages and maybe
disadvantages as it relates to how we operate and what we have as natural resources. one of the facts about north dakota is we are the geographical center of north america. so companies who want to be geographically centered, north dakota is it. there's plenty of place to expand, but how we approach for direct investment is we look at what our strengths are and sell into our strengths. we know we are not going to be a fit for everybody and that is ok. we are not looking for companies who want to get a five-year lease through the use of incentives and when it done, they decide they're going to leave and go somewhere else. when we talk about who we are and what we are, we talk about our strengths. i want to highlight some of
those. our governor and his team have done a terrific job in leading our state as it relates to all the states in the country. we have economic strengths we are proud of and we want to surpass all states in gdp growth. we are the top economic performer in the nation since 2000. according to 24/7 wall street, they ranked north dakota as the best state in the nation for years running. we are a constitutionally balanced-budget state and we have funds set aside for future needs and generations. in our mindset, we are here to plan for tomorrow.
that is important to us. on the slide, it shows some important things we are involved in. the number one women own revenue businesses in the nation. we try to look at our strengths and say how are we going to approach companies or investors that want to come to north dakota based on who we are? what can we offer to investors coming into us? somebody mentioned the idea of having a highly skilled labor force. we have 21 public and private universities and technical schools in north dakota. in addition, they are able to quickly adapt to the change in workplace. if someone is coming in and they need something, we can talk about industries, the need for welders became huge. like a lot of states, we did not have as many welders as we should have got our schools were able to adapt and provide that skill.
another example is one of our universities developed an engineering degree because of the need for energy in our state. and other example is the unmanned aircraft systems. the need was significant to have individuals who were trained as it relates to drones so the university developed a four-year program on unmanned aircraft system operations, the first one in the nation. so we can't that to what the workforce might need and what is going on. we offer a person to person introduction and get to know you on all levels of government, whether it's their legislators all the way up to the governor's office. we are a small state. we will get to know you and you will get to know us. it is that simple.
you can access the decision-makers. that was brought up here before, from the top on down and meeting with the correct individuals, we offer that. many times, you walk around the state and it is on a first name basis. you run into people at a conference, that is just how we operate. it is a real advantage. in yesterday's economic development committee session, the chairman and ceo of under armour was here. one thing he said the states need to have as a priority is an entrepreneurship environment. according to a recent university of nebraska study, north dakota is the number one entrepreneurship environment in
the nation. i say all of these to say it is important for states to identify -- identify what your strengths are and sell into those strengths. if someone is looking for a port on the ocean, north dakota is not going to be it. if someone is looking for an environment where temperatures don't hit below freezing, north dakota is not going to be at. if someone is looking for quality of life and the ability to enjoy four seasons and all the natural resources we have to offer, north dakota has a lot to offer. it comes down to what you are looking for from that standpoint. we border and international market. if you or your company think that is important, we have a port coming into north dakota, the fourth busiest highway port in the nation. we have a low cost of operation, the highest corporate tax rate is 4.31%.
we have been busy reducing taxes, not increasing them. we've done that to a significant degree. how do we attract fdi into the state? for any of those at the session yesterday, they highlighted some things they felt were important for states to address if they want to attract fdi into their state. i'm happy to say north dakota is halloween those examples. he must have read our notes. marketing campaign, we have aggressive marketing campaigns that target industries appropriate to where we are at an who we are. aerospace and aviation is huge, so we may have to do some
talking from that standpoint. we start looking at overseas offices and contractors that assist us in identifying leads that might be moving in our direction. those are scenarios where north dakota is strong from an export market standpoint. we engage our export markets. we engage them into what we are doing. it is so important to meet foreign delegates on a face to face basis and establish that level of trust and build that relationship. that is key when you are dealing with foreign investments coming in. we host dignitaries frequently and want to showcase -- not quite the show me state, but we
want to showcase who north dakota is. we are consistently doing that and because of the size of our state, we have the opportunity to introduce them to the decision-makers. here is what is available, here is what can happen. we encourage partnerships with companies for research and development because we can react . the universities and colleges can react to what needs to happen with them. we provide workforce development grants and training and that is needed. we do that. we have numerous financial incentive programs available to assist and a very unique structure -- we have the bank of north dakota that can offer unique financial assistance, the only state owned bank in the nation. so we get to do some things that
are unique to everyone else. if it doesn't fit a mold, we can go to the bank of north dakota and say how do we make this work for the benefit of the state? we look at all these things from that standpoint. as far as industry, agriculture is number one. agribusiness, advanced machinery, we have global headquarters as relates to agriculture and manufacturing, so that is key. energy is the second industry. it is made up of oil, the second largest producing state in the nation. natural gas, biomass and wind power. we have a lot of opportunity for fossil fuels and the trend to more green energy available to us.
to other areas that are really strong -- we have a lot of diversified industries, but technology is one of them. we have a strong biotechnology field and most of you would not realize that. literally interact all over the world on a global basis. i don't know if anybody knows microsoft's's campuses and north dakota. a very strong technological state. the unmanned aircraft systems industry -- talk about an industry that is just starting off -- a lot of people refer to it as the wild west. a couple of years ago, the federal aviation administration selected six test sites across the u.s. to do some testing and research to develop rules and regulations to integrate
unmanned aircraft vehicles into the manned airspace. north dakota is one of those sites -- one of those test sites. i am not hesitant to say we leave this effort into the research and what is going on. this attracts a significant amount of interest. we look at what our strengths are and sell into our strengths. in one of only six test sites in the nation, there's not a lot of competition that can come up against us. we have a u.s. air force base and north dakota that only flies drones and we have the first private development on this air force base that is going to be used for commercial development. northrop grumman and general atomics are coming in. in october of 2015, just a few months ago, did a mission to the nordic countries and as a result , that was five months ago, we have a finnish company that has expanded into north dakota and
we are hosting and the couple of weeks several other companies coming to north dakota and want to partner or locate in north dakota because you are looking at literally a multibillion dollar industry in the u.s. and north dakota is a gateway to that marketplace. we have success stories. after their due diligence, they looked at north dakota and decided to locate their. part of that process has been expansion that is one of the things we want to look at. we have a limited budget like everyone else.
what can a company invest into the states and what can we invest into them? it is a partnership. single-engine airplanes with a parachute -- in case you look at it that way, they need some capital, so they ended up selling their company to a chinese company and got the capital and the chinese company is going to take an industry leader and introduce that aircraft into their general aviation market. a large norwegian company wanted to get involved in shale production in the u.s., came in and bought a company in north dakota. in conclusion, what we look at
is who is a good fit for north dakota? how can it be long-lasting? all the positive things that come about. north dakota is fertile ground, to use and agricultural term. we can say we are from the government and we are here to help you. thank you. >> thank you, donovan. leslie alexander, the international director for the tennessee department of economic community development will wrap us up here. >> leslie alexander with the state of tennessee. i want to say thank you to our governor who is a big proponent of foreign direct investment. also workforce development.
>> our commissioner, randy boyd, was first tasked with developing a stronger workforce. i am going to hold those two things on the side and talk about a little bit about our strengths as a state. but also talk about the similarities. we are talking about the united states of america. one thing i love about the panel and my colleagues, yes, we are all landlocked. when you look at it from a logistics perspective, we provide a unique perspective. we are not on the coast. we do not have a big port for someone to come into. we have unique attributes. tennessee has one of those attributes. we also happen to have memphis -- we have the most exports with microsoft. we have some really unique attributes throughout the state,
which is one of the things i see as similarities. onto some more specifics about tennessee, we are the volunteer state. that goes hand-in-hand with committing my colleagues about some of their attribute. similarities between us are come along the ideas of industrial machinery, advanced manufacturing, i should say, i.t. -- we have also heard a common theme of agriculture and commerce. when we look at what we drawn to the states, we have a lot of advanced manufacturing around medical devices, but also opportunities -- because of the logistics with federal express, fedex in memphis, we have some really strong attributes to the state. we continue the same of medical devices and health care
management. we have more hospital beds managed out of middle tennessee than anywhere else in the world. along with that, we draw in the and tier two -- the tier two and tier three parts of it. when you look at it with the hospital management components, you look at the fact that i.t. is everywhere in this world. we think of an autonomous vehicle -- that is what we talk about now. to move on to the east side of the state, we get more to agriculture. but we had that combination of manufacturing and health care management on the east side of the state. to talk about automotive, we are happy to have 1200 plus people at a facility.
we have large headquarters with volkswagen, nissan, gm, we also have a strong relationship with the company said feet into that, and have some initiatives going on. when we look at the industries across the state, we can look at health care, advanced manufacturing, automotive -- we have aerospace as well. the company from brazil has a manufacturing facility based in nashville, tennessee. along with all of those various industries we have, something she may not think about as advanced manufacturing would be ceramics. and we have recently had a lot of tile making.
that speaks to the unique attributes in tennessee. that is an overall picture of some of our clusters and things we work on there. we also work toward a development component, which i am very proud of. getting back to our governor and commissioner, we started a tennessee promise. any graduating high school student in tennessee is guaranteed a two-year education in vocational/technical studies for free. if you graduate from high school and get into the program called tennessee promise, there are people like myself, who are your mentors, and we hold her hand to make sure you get through. we do that with the guidance of the companies who have landed in our state.
we recently worked with nissan to create a workforce program specifically. in general, we are consistently going out into the field and talking with our companies to see what needs they have. in a state like tennessee, there are a lot of them. we have a very role workforce. along with that comes with challenges. we have a huge broadband initiative going on. we have a huge role initiative -- rural initiative going on. when companies come in, they know their needs will be met. from a state like perspective, there are a lot of challenges. in general, i think that tennessee, with over 10,000 jobs created last year, and with 125,000 created from direct investment, we can find a lot of opportunities. what do we do internationally?
we recently had an initiative going to israel. we took some of our main health care startups over there. talk with other health care startups on ways we could scale up and how we can bring opportunities with bilateral trade opportunities. we see foreign direct investment as a full circle with trade where if you can show somebody that you can take their product back out, but also provide resources they need on the ground, and that is something we can help you with a tennessee. we are the volunteer state and we are here to do for you in the international community what you asked us to do. we are quick to jump as well. think about us with our workforce 360 and the opportunities of students to get what they need as far as education that suits the workforce needs. and to add to that, we offer
-- we offer transitional support. the people in those communities need to transition from what they have been doing traditionally, we provide work is development as well. in closing, i have to mention entertainment. -- entertainment and whiskey. we are a proud home to the country music hall of fame and all things country music. tourism is huge for us. we have it futile -- beautiful smoky mountain national park. we also have jack daniels. [laughter] i hope you all are fond of it and enjoy it when you have a chance. whiskey is one of our largest exports. canada, china, japan, and belgium are one of our top markets. we had that interesting factor -- we have an interesting factor.
we are home to that and very proud of that. they for letting us be here today. >> thank you very much, leslie. thank you very much with all your comments. being your geographic location to infrastructure you felt out, to country music and jack daniels. it doesn't get any better than that, right? i want to ask you about the process to attracting some of these companies. i would love for each of you to speak on how does your governor get involved? also, donovan -- you spoke to how you involve legislators. it would be wonderful to hear about what you think about involving your executive and your legislative branch as well
in the economic development game. >> john, thank you for that. the state of missouri, we have 13 foreign offices. that global network is managed i myself and my team on a daily basis. we work with our local staff to make sure that they are reaching out to various companies within that particular market that they are based in. the generation is the main purpose of what that -- of what that global offices. we work very closely with our sister agencies. the missouri partnership helps to do the marketing for the state of missouri, but also the project management. when the leads command, we hand them over to the project manager. we work in tandem together to
make sure we are addressing the needs of the company. interestingly enough, those foreign offices are also in charge of governor's trade missions. these international shows, and we tend to focus on the ones that are the industry leaders, or the top show in the sector. what happens is you have leading, corporate -- a leading, corporate presence. you have companies from all over the world that are probably very high within the sector. it helps for us to generate leads in that regard.
to further address your question with regards to the governor, you know, i have been doing this for a long time. i won't tell you how long exactly. but, i have worked for many, many governors. governor nixon has literally -- the stamina this man has is just amazing. but he has helped us with some additional resources to be in a position to go after every deal we possibly can. work with as many companies as we possibly can. make certain that we are bringing those projects home. once again, i will tell the common sense approach.
but the governor has led trade missions for us. he is going to various trade shows for us. he has just not stopped. i will give you a perfect example because frank is sitting here. governor nixon was in canada a couple of years ago and one of the first things we did was met with magnum. one of the reasons we did that was we knew that this was in the pipeline. we were working with the executives and the governor was in the position to close the deal for us. it was critical. we try to engage the governor as often as we can in those types of situations. when we talk about the legislature, then we get into some unique situations because every legislative leader represents a particular district in their state. so, sometimes the challenge that i see -- sometimes what happens is, the overall state requirements -- needs, necessities are not always a priority of each of our legislative leaders. that is par for the course. they represent a certain district. the represent a certain
community. it is very important that they focus on those needs first, and then maybe to the greater good of the state. i will say as far as missouri, when it comes to economic development, foreign direct investment, when it comes to specifically engaging with companies, we have -- this is a testament to the governor -- making sure the state is represented properly. the governor is a huge cheerleader for us and very important with regards to economic development.
john: leslie, i asked you to get a few comments on this. leslie: the ceo of a state is there to close the deal. he is definitely at the table. i think of some recent wins we have had. under armour -- they all came because the governor was there and he showed that was very important. we have the incentives. it is a return on investment. how can tennessee satisfy the needs of a company when they come to us? that is when the ceo makes a close. on the legislative side, john, when you think of how the legislature supports the different ideas, i look at west tennessee. we have a huge movement for bettering our relationships with the continent of africa. if it wasn't for the legislatures from west tennessee
promoting that, then we wouldn't have that continued relationship going with the trade missions in and out of tennessee with that regard. in east tennessee, we have the music again. our legislature have seen the benefits of those things and developing those attributes as far as expert goes. when you look at the foreign investment keys, -- peace, we were with our federal partners in developing opportunities. . we work with the state -- he work with the state and international trade agencies. new ecosystems, business ecosystems, with your strengths and your certain clusters to limit this opportunity is back and fourth. john: frank and jamie, do you have any ideas that would work
as well, or may not work as well. >> it is important when you're going to invest money in the state, you have a chance to meet and talk to the ceo of that state and give you an idea of how it is going to go. it is very important to talk to legislators in the state, especially when it comes to what they are going to take a look at in the next session. especially for foreign investment companies. we have a lot of states that, with potential laws, especially when it comes to how you report state income taxes. that are contrary to what you need to do to be a diverse company as oppose to being a single entity company. if you don't have that conversation, you find yourself down the road at a big mountain.
>> establishing that relationship early with the governor, establishing that level of trust, is critical is making the relationship grow from there. john: donovan, you mentioned the situation you had with the bank of north dakota. has it been in -- has there been examples where you been able to deploy that in an innovative way? i would love to hear more on that. donovan: yes. it is very interesting, the only state in the nation that has its own bank, but there are some restrictions and things that in the baking world you can and an cannot do. the things that can be done is -- the bank of north dakota works as a support system in the state. they are not a competing entity.
that is one of the things a legislature make sure does not happen. the local bank is comfortable operating within north dakota. if the local bank cannot perform, provide, cannot meet the need, that is when the bank of north dakota can get involved. that can be through loans or guarantees. could be financial guarantees to the local lender. could be some kind of grant that might be available. the opportunity there to structure something that meets the need of the company without having to go through a lot of different gyrations or hoops. small state, can get to the decision makers, does it make sense? i was just talking with them -- there was another company from norway, want to relocate -- 22 relocate to north dakota.
they sold the business there and wanted to come to the u.s. to study business, so came to north dakota. they called me and said what do you know about this? i'm at the people and men evolve with them, but here is what i know about them, you have to do your due diligence. because it is unique, the local lenders want willing to get a loan to the startup from norway and and. the bank of north dakota steps in and says, we can make it happen. that gives us a real edge. john: i would love to hear from you, what works well -- what has not worked well with your relationship with companies? i would like for frank to comment on that on how they see it.
any examples, or past experiences, or scars even around what worked well, or what hasn't worked well in your dealings with companies? >> i will start. it is the workforce piece that is a challenge, especially in rural states. that is why we developed the workforce 360 program because we identified that we were losing companies. we were lending them, but then they were leaving because he could not get the right employees to the plate. we now have an opportunity to talk with companies to get a program that suits their needs. the money might take four years to spend, two years to build the facility -- within two years, you can train your workforce up to man the facility. it is not unique to tennessee. it is to a lot of rural
communities throughout the united states. john: have you found the participation in codirecting curriculum? leslie: absolutely. that is why we are focusing on the development piece. we are working with all of our technical colleges throughout tennessee and the southeast. it is a small border collaboration we have going on. we have a canadian relationship were we look at developing opportunities in the workforce to beat into the system. john: donovan, any thoughts on what works well? donovan: i think we all have our instances where it has not worked so well. we bury those may be a little bit, but hopefully learn from them. we don't just want to air our dirty laundry.
due diligence is a big part of it. it is one thing for a company to come to your state and you get all excited about the prospects of something happening, and it is exciting. however, what does it mean? is it going to be long-term, lasting, what is it going to cost us? how about the relationship with the local community and very as individuals make recommendations? all of these things come into play. when you look at it, we definitely have positive experiences, no doubt about it. i think i mentioned earlier, in north dakota, we are not looking for somebody who was a five-year lease in real estate in north dakota.
we are looking for somebody who wants to be in north dakota and can simulate their business and people and be productive and effective. to do due diligence on both sides. exciting, that this lead, let's talk about it. then bring decision makers together and say it does not work, it does not make sense. >> i just want to add one thing to everything that leslie and donovan said, and i agree wholeheartedly. a company like magnum comes in and hires the employees a higher. that is the greatest feeling in the world. someone has got a job. on the flipside of that though,
what we see a lot of times is those middle, red flags that go up occasionally when a company comes to us and all they care about is an incentive package. just to throw it back of the private sector, that raises flags for any state. anyone that is in this line of business, even if it is a consultants, because quite frankly, it goes to what donovan had mentioned, it is that commitment. we don't want a company to come in, set up shop, then all of a sudden five years after the incentive program has expired, or less time than that, all of a sudden, leaves to go find a better incentive package. that's probably, you know, that whole side is some of the battle scars we have encountered throughout the years with regards to this. john: it is about building out the ecosystem. >> absolutely. john: not just a one and done deal.
>> i am going to tell you what does not work. [laughter] we counsel development professionals all the time. what does not work is long-term tax credits. they are terrible and they never get collected on. i don't know how anybody budgets for that 12, 20 years out. if you do the due diligence on a project, the project -- and the reason for quote incentives is to mitigate the capital expenditure investment on the front end. you do got a program that goes more than five years and somebody is asking for more than five years, you should probably run because they probably won't be around five years from now. it will sign the lease and begone. we try to mitigate costs.
we try to get people trying to get ready to go and get ready to work. let's talk about having that is good for the community, good for the state, and good for us to mitigate the loss. we sometimes forget as companies, but when you talk about getting people to come there and having some kind of incentive to come there, you are still spending taxpayer money. those taxpayers are looking for a return on investment, number one. if you are going to be a good corporate citizen, you can't have a 30 year incentive plan. it just does not work. the two just don't go hand in hand. you are looking to get a foothold for a project, and then you are looking to grow. we want to grow in 10 years. if you have a long-term incentive program for the state, the question is, how are you going to come back when the
taxpayer say, you have a 20 year plan on the initial investment? we want to make it easier to manage from both sides and make it easier and make the corporation and the company look like a corporate citizens. john: one challenge i will add, the process takes time. we have an internal process that is market-driven. i wish that things were easy and we could almost board so easily, but sometimes that is not the case. it may take years to see that come to fruition, but i think it is important. how do you enable these relationships? i want to go the comments of the national governors association of making the discussion come together. it is an important conversation we need to continue and grow. the summit has been successful
bringing global companies together to promote investment in the u.s. trade shows, great opportunities. there is also a group in washington called the organization or international investors. they support u.s. subsidiaries and global companies. they bring together companies like mine better trying to do the same thing. we are trying to grow and invest. very positive things that are happening and the focus is on foreign direct investment. john: wonderful. i would love to open it up to the audience if there are any questions. in the remaining time, if anyone has a questioned, i would be very happy to entertain it. yes, please. could use the microphone right there? >> my name is charlene. my question is related to china
for the three economists. would you elaborate on the overall status of invest that from china. chinese investment -- are there any particular characteristics of chinese investment and what are you planning to do to reach out to attract more? i know ms. johnson referenced an aircraft. if you can add that on top of that, that would be great. >> thank you for the question. we have an office in china. we consider it a very strong marketplace for what comes out of north dakota. that is how that started. the exporting side into china and when you do that, there is a reciprocal agreement that
develop. it is very strong that way. china is a huge market. no doubt about it. there are certain the opportunities available in north dakota. we had a regional office in north dakota. and china is a huge market to develop for investors coming into north dakota. they may come or may not be her own company in, but they will bring capital into north dakota to invest into existing companies. that is a very strong component. we have a program that we call export assistance. we take graduate level students from there is countries internationally and replace them in companies in the state of north dakota on a part-time basis. speaking on china, we have
students from china who come here, work with the companies, understand what they are doing, where they are going, they want to remain, or they want to go back to china and so that relationship really a strengthened between our companies here and what is happening back home in china. we have a lot of things to work with in that perspective to strengthen the relationship. >> in missouri, we have two offices in china. our primary office is located in shanghai. we also have an office in hong kong. to that end, we have probably have had four or five traditional investments from china in the state of missouri. what we have been seeing -- once again, being one of the landlocked states in the midwest -- we tend to be a flyover region. so, a lot of investment coming
in from china, we have noticed, has been on the coast. they hadn't quite made their way yet with regard to setting the market share. what we have seen from china is a lot of investment with regards to property. just like tennessee has nashville, we of course, have branson, missouri. the live music capital of the world. we have a great deal of investment in the entertainment sector from the chinese. we continue to build upon relationships, continue to market the state of missouri, continue to try to recruit chinese investment as far as manufacturing facilities etc.
i think, also, we are just not. -- just not there yet. the midwest, as a region, is not there yet with regards to chinese investment. leslie: i would have to say from the tennessee perspective, we have a long-term relationship culturally with china with tray back in the 1980's that took a whole group over to investigate how to share cultures. we have had consultants working with the state off and on over the years. we noticed recently -- took a large group over for a business focused mission. we established a foreign direct investment office in shanghai. we have had those ongoing relationships over the years. we are looking for a new foreign investment office in china. that is an ae