The head of the Midwest-U.S. China Association doesn’t want to see America's cornbelt fall behind in a changing global economy. Bob Holden, who served as governor of Missouri from 2001 to 2005, spoke at Monmouth College as part of its "Midwest Matters" initiative.
Holden told attendees the Midwest must make changes in the way it does business.
“We are in a new world with new businesses and countries competing against us for their share of the economic pie, working to write new rules and setting different priorities, building their own alliances that they control, and not us,” Holden said.
Holden said economic decline should be expected if the status quo was maintained. But he also said there are ways the Midwest can keep up in the global economy.
“The one resource the world will be demanding more than any other 25 years from now, and it is not oil. It’s fresh water. Our region has 22% of the world’s fresh water,” Holden said.
Holden also wants to see Midwestern colleges and universities work to attract more international students. He said that would help develop the next generation of leaders.