Statement as issued Friday by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Northeast Indiana delegation supporting the 2012 Indiana Trade Mission to China has returned with tangible benefits for the region’s economy. Direct results include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a new sister city relationship between Decatur, Indiana, and Jiaojiang (Zhejiang Province) and the potential for at least one new economic development project in Northeast Indiana.
The delegation, led by Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, included Mayor John Schultz from Decatur, Indiana; Larry Macklin, Executive Director of the Adams County Economic Development Director; and John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
“It was a successful trip in all ways we hoped for. We came away with great opportunities for Decatur, Adams County and Northeast Indiana. “The leaders of Zhejiang Province were prepared for each and every stop we made. This area of China is ready to work with Northeast Indiana and us,” said Macklin.
“The delegation from Northeast Indiana was fortunate to be able to participate in the Lt. Governor’s trade mission,” concluded Mayor Schultz. “I considered the trip highly successful. Notably, the memorandum of understanding to establish the first sister city relationship for Decatur is historic.”
Over the three days, the team participated in 11 events and three formal banquets. Included were seven direct business discussions and a trade seminar. The connection between economic development and workforce development was also seen on this trip as the Adams County delegates plan to develop a formal relationship with a Jiajiang sister school.
“This trip was the most productive yet,” said John Sampson. “The level of interest and engagement by the private sector in China has increased each year we have returned to China. Direct leads were produced on this venture.”
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.