The Journal Gazette
Friday, August 23, 2019 7:10 am

Verbatim: Gov. Holcomb looks to build business relationships in Asia

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. issued the following news release today:

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 23, 2019) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb will lead economic development trips to Asia in the coming months to support the state of Indiana’s increasingly global economy, strengthening partnerships and creating connections across business, culture, education, government and even sports.

“Markets are more connected now than ever before, and we’re proud to support a growing global dynamic economy in Indiana,” Gov. Holcomb said. “That growth is evident in our business sector, with 1,000 foreign-owned companies throughout Indiana employing 21st century talent in communities all across our state. We’re committed to continuing to cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships that will create even more opportunities for Hoosiers and a shared prosperous future.”

Gov. Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger will lead business delegations to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China and India. Highlights include meeting with representatives of Indiana’s largest foreign direct investor in Japan, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Indiana-Tochigi Prefecture sister state, traveling to Indiana’s sister state in Zhejiang Province, and joining the Indiana Pacers in Mumbai for the National Basketball Association’s first ever game in India.

Indiana is home to 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. The state’s transpacific partnerships continue to grow, with Japan now supporting 319 business establishments in Indiana, the Republic of Korea supporting 10, China supporting 21 and India supporting seven.


Gov. Holcomb and Secretary Schellinger will lead a delegation to Japan and the Republic of Korea to bolster economic and cultural ties, meeting with government officials, industry chambers and business executives from Sept. 4 to Sept. 10.

In Japan, the Governor will travel to Tokyo and Nagoya to meet with executives of Japanese businesses invested in Indiana, including Subaru Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company, and to meet with industry leadership and new business prospects, hosting roundtable discussions with the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce, the Central Japan Economic Federation, and Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation. The Governor will also participate in his third annual conference of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, a bilateral organization comprised of the governments of 10 U.S. Midwestern states, eight prefectures in Japan, and about 100 corporations.

The Governor and the delegation will also travel to Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Indiana and Tochigi.

In the Republic of Korea, Gov. Holcomb and Secretary Schellinger will meet with international businesses with operations in Indiana, such as POSCO, and meet with U.S. and Korean government officials to build on shared economic ties. The Governor will also highlight the advantages of Indiana's business climate to Korean companies at a roundtable event with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Governor and Secretary will be joined by First Lady Janet Holcomb, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors members Fred Merritt, CEO of Riverside Mfg.; Kristin Marcuccilli, executive vice president and COO of STAR Financial Bank, and Mark Neal, principal of Bradley Company; and Roger Reeves, director of commercial strategic accounts at Genesys.

The group will also be joined by a larger delegation in Japan, including:

City of Seymour: Mayor Craig Luedeman

City of Westfield: Mayor Andy Cook; Todd Burtron, chief of staff; and Kai Chuck, global strategy and business development

Cornerstone Environmental Health & Safety: Cindy Madrick, vice president

DEEM: Tom Prather, director of Japanese business development

Force Construction: Harold Force, chairman and CEO; Clayton Force, president and COO; and Mr. Yukihito Ozaki, project development manager

Gaylor Electric: Mike Kern, vice president; and Wayne Manwaring, design engineer

Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation: Jason Hester, president

Gregory & Appel: Rick Pease, executive director

Hoosier Energy: Harold Gutzwiller, manager of economic development and key accounts

Ingraham & Associates: Larry Ingraham, president

Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation: Jim Plump, executive director

Japan-America Society of Indiana: Theresa Kulczak, executive director

Jennings County Economic Development Commission: Kathy Ertel, executive director


Gov. Holcomb will also lead an economic development mission to China, fostering a strong partnership that spans several decades, and to India, cultivating relationships that have developed growing momentum in recent years, from Sept. 22 to Oct. 5.

In China, the Governor and Secretary will travel to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, Indiana's sister state of more than 30 years, and meet with Chinese businesses and business chambers to underscore the importance of the Indiana-China relationship. Gov. Holcomb will also connect with Indiana-based companies with operations in China, including Eli Lilly and Zimmer, highlighting the importance of bilateral relationships.

Following, the Governor and Secretary will travel to India to meet with government, academic and business partners, including membership of the Confederation of Indian Industry, and to promote Indiana's competitive advantages to new business prospects. The Governor will conclude the trip by joining the Indiana Pacers in Mumbai for the NBA’s inaugural games in India on Oct. 4 and 5.

More details on the schedule and delegation will be shared at a later date.


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

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