Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack spoke with reporters from a Bio-tech conference in Philadelphia today to announce an agreement with the country of New Zealand. He says it creates “a unique and special relationship between a country and a state,” that will create expanded biotechnology opportunities. Vilsack says part of the agreement involves sharing among academic institutions. He says specifically Iowa State University and the University of Iowa sharing with universities in New Zealand. Vilsack says the second result will be specific joint venture arrangements between businesses. He says New Zealand companies will invest in Iowa and Iowa companies can export their goods to New Zealand. Vilsack says this agreement works well for both sides. He says New Zealand is a very small country that lives in the shadow of Australia and they’re looking for ways to identify themselves. He says the State of Iowa has a similar challenge when it comes to identifying itself with other countries. Vilsack says the agreement gives New Zealand a good opportunity to expand their presence.He says it allows them to establish a North American base for their companies. He says Iowa is placed well to provide them with the American market, as well as the Canadian and Mexican markets. Vilsack says the “memorandum of understanding” signed today came after discussions with New Zealand that started two years ago.