The next hundred years will require drastic changes in the way South Dakota conducts its economic activities. With the expansion of globalization and the internet, our major competitors are no longer the shop across the street, nor just neighboring states…a small, internet-based company in New Delhi, India can now prove itself just as stiff of competition for business as your competitor across the street.
The Rapid City Journal carried a story about a new Internet shopping mall, where a Chinese company sells Japanese goods to its citizens. Not only is this story important because it shows the increasing competitiveness of China, but it also shows how non-producers can become profitable in the Internet marketplace. South Dakota and the United States as a whole are moving away from being manufacturing-based to information and service-based, and we must be aware of how we can remain competitive in these changing times.
Although South Dakota now has increased competition from abroad, there is another side to this economic coin: we also have vast and new markets opened to us as well. We have a chance to prove ourselves as the most worthy of international business, just like our competitors. One great example of South Dakota marketing itself is the South Dakota Certified Beef Program. The program adds value to our product by going through extra steps to ensure that our beef is safe and free of things such as mad cow disease, etc., which allows us to target a niche market of countries abroad that have concerns over U.S. beef in general. Similar programs will help South Dakota market itself to the international community and help us forge ahead into the 21st century.