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Strain: agriculture, forestry, energy demand will drive future world economic growth

April 11, 2011

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., told conferees attending the National Export Initiative meeting in New Orleans today that future global population growth and energy demand will create an unprecedented market for agriculture and forestry.
"It’s a great day in Louisiana and American agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, energy and all other resource based industries,” Strain said. “We have tremendous opportunities ahead for export and trade, which will revitalize our state and national economy. 
“The bottom line is this: each year the world will grow by more than 75 million persons, reaching over nine billion by the year 2050. 
“We must feed, clothe, house and provide energy worldwide to meet this growing demand and this will result in a tremendous economic impact to all of America.”
Strain made his comments before 250 national and international business leaders gathered for the trade conference’s opening session at the Lavin-Bernick Center on the Tulane University campus.
Strain said the Louisiana was positioned well to take advantage of the growth because of its transportation advantages.
“The Port of South Louisiana from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico, combined with our other ports, truck, rail and intermodal facilities represent the largest port system in the world," Strain said.
The conference, officially called the National Export Initiative (NEI) New Markets, New Jobs- Small Business Tour, is hosted by the World Trade Center of New Orleans, Tulane University’s Goldring Institute of International Business, the Louisiana District Export Council, the Louisiana Committee of 100 for Economic Development and the Southern United States Trade Association.
Strain said the conference is designed to help connect small and medium sized Louisiana businesses with the resources they need to sell more of what they make in markets overseas. The National Export Initiative Small Business Tour is designed to help achieve the United States’ goal of doubling exports in the next five years to support the creation of several million new jobs.
In addition to Commissioner Strain, speakers and panelists included U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, U. S. Congressman Cedric Richmond and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
NEI Director Courtney Gregoire, Louisiana Economic Development Assistant Secretary Don Pierson, Tulane University Provost Michael Bernstein and Bobby Brannon of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and other business and trade representatives from America and abroad addressed the conference.