Governor Holcomb to Foster International Business Relationships in China, India

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 23, 2019) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger will arrive in Asia today, leading delegations of economic development professionals and business leaders to China and India to strengthen Indiana’s relationships and pursue opportunities to expand transpacific exchanges.

“It’s the perfect time to be making the trip,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We’ll use our time in China and India to strengthen our relationships with these important international partners. Of course, we’re also looking forward to supporting the Pacers as they play the first ever NBA game in India.”

Indiana is home to 21 China-based business establishments, which support approximately 2,500 jobs across the state, and eight India-based business establishments, supporting 1,000 jobs throughout the state. Since 2013, 17 businesses in China and India have committed to locating or growing in Indiana. Together, they plan to invest more than $584 million in their Indiana operations and create up to 5,425 new Hoosier jobs. More information on Indiana’s ties to each country is available here.

Gov. Holcomb and the delegation will begin the trip in China, meeting with global business leaders and government officials in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30. In China, the delegation will be joined by Naomi Kwang, attorney and president of the America China Society of Indiana (ACSI); Colin Renk, executive director of ACSI; Harrison Ding, chairman of ACSI; as well as Weilin Long, director of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s office in Hangzhou, China.

Following, the Governor and Secretary will travel to India on Sept. 30, visiting New Delhi and Mumbai. There, the delegation will be joined by Richard Hall, partner and chair of the Government Services and Finance Department at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and chair of the Board of Trustees at Ball State University; Jason Sondhi, founder and president of Sondhi Solutions and secureUP; and Melissa Proffitt, Partner-in-Charge of Client Relations at Ice Miller LLP. The Governor will return to Indiana on Oct. 6.

Gov. Holcomb will begin his trip in Beijing, meeting with Chinese businesses invested in Indiana, including Shougang Group, parent company of BeijingWest Industries (BWI), which recently cut the ribbon on its first U.S. production facility in Greenfield, with businesses considering locating in Indiana, as well as with U.S.- and Indiana-based companies operating in China at a business roundtable event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce China – Beijing.

In Beijing, the Governor will also meet with Chinese government officials and with leadership of Indiana University China Gateway, which opened in 2014. Gov. Holcomb and the delegation will also host a Friends of Indiana Reception with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, welcoming partners in business, education, government and cultural organizations with ties to Indiana and China.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the delegation will travel to Hangzhou, the capital of Indiana’s sister state, Zhejiang Province. The Governor will commemorate the 32-year relationship with provincial officials and meet representatives of the region’s economy during a roundtable event with the Zhejiang Department of Commerce. The delegation will also meet with Chinese and Indiana companies with operations in Zhejiang, including Zimmer Biomet, which is headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, and Heng Feng, which is the parent company of Westfield Outdoors in Indianapolis.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, Gov. Holcomb will travel to Shanghai to continue building ties between Indiana and China. The delegation will conclude the trip by hosting a Friends of Indiana reception in Shanghai with U.S. Consul General Sean Stein and leadership of Faegre Baker Daniels.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Gov. Holcomb will arrive in New Delhi, beginning the delegation’s economic development trip in India by meeting with government, academic and business partners. There, the Governor and Secretary will meet with a number of Indian businesses, including Wipro, and promote Indiana’s competitive advantages to members of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

In New Delhi, the Governor will also participate in the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit, and the delegation will join a celebration to commemorate the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the delegation will travel to Mumbai, where the Indiana Pacers will play in the National Basketball Association’s inaugural games in India against the Sacramento Kings. While there, the Governor will connect with leadership of Infosys and with alumni of Indiana University. The delegation will also engage with Indian businesses already invested in the U.S. and those interested in expanding through meetings with the IMS Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the U.S.-India Business Council, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the World Trade Center – Mumbai.

After cheering on the Pacers in India, the Governor and the delegation will depart for Indiana on Oct. 5, returning to Indiana on Oct. 6.

Indiana is home to more than 1,004 foreign-owned business establishments that support more than 193,000 jobs across the state. Foreign direct investment committed to the state has increased by 300 percent from 2016 to 2018, with 47 foreign-owned businesses committing to invest $3.2 billion to locate or grow in Indiana last year.

This marks Gov. Holcomb’s second trip to India and his first visit to China. The costs of the state delegations are being paid through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.