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Former U.S. State Department official speaks at Purdue

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A former U.S. deputy secretary of state thinks Purdue is “ground zero” for the expertise needed to help developing economies. Bob Zoellick says technology, innovation, agriculture and business are all needed to help emerging countries. He thinks that could help the U.S. economy too.

“The United States has actually been stagnant in terms of getting more market share abroad. We benefited from the ethanol prices and the higher prices. So, frankly, I think we also need to reorient our policies towards trying to get advantage of some of these growths in international markets.”

Zoellick also served as U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush from 2001-2005.

He says the developing world has opportunities for increasing productivity, but needs the expertise Purdue can offer.

“About half of African agriculture production is lost on the way to market, so simply creating the storage facilities, the roads, some of these other aspects, can make huge gains.”

Zoellick delivered the “James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture” Friday organized by Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics.