Senate Appropriations Chairman Kelly Haney wants to know if Oklahoma is doing everything possible to maximize its international trade potential. The Senate Leader is in the midst on an economic development and cultural exchange program that will take him through parts of Europe and Asia.
"The Oklahoma State Department of Commerce has trade offices in Asia and Europe aimed at helping our state compete in the global market. As appropriations chair I want to know if those efforts are paying off, and how we can make those ventures even more profitable for Oklahoma,"
explained Senator Haney.
"There are three key areas we should really be taking advantage of in terms of foreign markets. Historically, Oklahoma is known for its oil and gas industry. We have valuable assets in terms of intellectual property as well as state of the art equipment. I believe we also have tremendous potential to increase exports of our agricultural products, including wheat, cotton and soybeans. In addition, Oklahoma has primed itself to be an international force in the area of technology, " said
Those are some of the areas Senator Haney said would be discussed when he met this weekend with representatives of Oklahoma's international trade office in Belgium. The mission's second part will focus on cultural exchange programs between Oklahoma, Taiwan and Japan.
"In connection with the Commerce Department, The Lt. Governor's Office and the State Arts Council we will be bringing an exhibit of Oklahoma Native American Art as part of our cultural exchange. The trip to, Japan will also help mark Oklahoma's 15th anniversary as sister state to Kyoto. As a result of these exchanges, many young men and women have decided to seek their higher education at universities and colleges in Oklahoma, strengthening our economic and cultural ties with Asia," noted Haney.
Senator Haney will also be meeting with representatives from the Commerce Department's International Offices in Taiwan.
"We need to do everything possible to realize our untapped potential in the international marketplace. Other states are already taking advantage of these opportunities. This needs to be an even greater priority for Oklahoma in the 21st century," said Senator Haney.