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NDTO News Article

NDTO Fall Happenings

Your NDTO has been busy! The team is working for you to expand global trade for ND businesses. It’s been so great to connect with friends old and new, and we wanted to share the many things happening at the NDTO.


In September, NDTO hosted a delegation from the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), which included representatives from the Japanese government, as well as numerous Japanese businesses. While in ND,  the delegation met with Governor Burgum, Lieutenant Governor Sanford, Commerce Commissioner James Leiman, ND Dept. of Agriculture Director John Schneider, and  ND companies primarily in the energy sector. The mission was a success for both North Dakota and our Japanese partners.

The Big Iron Farm Show continued welcoming visitors in-person again this year, and the NDTO took the opportunity to meet with many members and participants throughout the show. In addition to visiting with exporters, NDTO hosted a small delegation from Liberia during the International Visitors Program. The Liberian delegation visited ND to learn more about farming practices and agriculture equipment.

Finally, in September, we welcomed Hataikarne Hearne, also known as Tai, to the NDTO team as an International Business Manager. She is an excellent addition to the team, with many years of experience in the finance sector, wholesale and resale businesses, and has an MBA from NDSU.



In October, the NDTO had the pleasure of hosting Members of Parliament from the Kenyan government for a tour across ND.  Our Executive Director, Drew Combs, led the delegation, introducing them to many companies across the state. During their visit, we were able to showcase many of the exciting advancements in technology, agriculture, ranching, and the beauty of ND.  They also had the opportunity to meet Lieutenant Governor Sanford, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Commerce Commissioner James Leiman, and many more as they traveled from Fargo all the way to Medora with many stops along the way.

In mid-October, Drew Combs and Lindsey Warner traveled to Chicago, IL, to connect with consulates of Ecuador, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan. This was a great opportunity to meet impactful individuals from across the globe representing their respective countries and promote our great state and businesses.

Finally, David Bushby, Australia’s Consul-General from Chicago,IL,  visited the ND state capital in mid-October and made connections with Lieutenant Governor Sanford, ND Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and ND Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.


The NDTO Roadshow started in September and continued throughout November as Jiwon Kim, and Tai Hearne hit the road and visited EDCs, new businesses, NDTO members and partners, and potential exporters. The NDTO team has continued to branch out and understand the needs of exporters in our state and how we can better serve them.

In mid-November, the NDTO team also hosted  Director Chin-Sung Cheng and Officer of the Economic Division Meg Chen from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, IL. They were able to meet with Commerce Commissioner James Leiman and several businesses throughout eastern ND.

The NDTO is certainly not slowing down for the winter as the team is busy preparing for upcoming trade missions, reverse trade missions, educational programs, and the return of the Global Business Connections conference.

Stay tuned for more happenings at the NDTO, and have a safe and happy holiday NDTO Tseason.