Northeast Indiana economic development representatives joined Indiana Lt.-Gov. Becky Skillman today on a state-led trade mission to China to market the Northeast Indiana region to businesses looking to expand into the U.S. market.
Northeast Indiana will be represented by Mayor John Schultz of Decatur; Larry Macklin, Executive Director of the Adams County Economic Development Corporation; and John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
The group is scheduled to leave today from Indianapolis and return the following Sunday.
The delegation will meet with businesses and government officials in Hangzhou, Taizhou and Shanghai.
This is the fourth trade mission to China for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the first trip for Schultz and Macklin.
"Our goal is for Northeast Indiana to be a top global competitor and to do that we must continue to develop relationships on a global scale," said Sampson. "The talent and innovation Northeast Indiana has to offer is very appealing to Asian businesses. We have demonstrated to them why investing in our region is the right decision for many corporations with an interest in the US market."
"We are grateful for this trade opportunity," Macklin said. "This has been a possibility for a few months. Early on, we had been contacted by the state indicating that there was interest by the Chinese in both our local agricultural and manufacturing areas.
"What has evolved is simply a great opportunity for Adams County and the City of Decatur. Mayor Schultz and I now have several invitations, including the original expressed interests. An exciting additional opportunity came through those planning meetings.
"Mayor Schultz has been invited to begin the formal process of creating a Sister City relationship."
Macklin said he and Schultz will be joined by Sampson in marketing visits which are specific to Decatur and Adams County.
"In relation to protocol, John Sampson told us, 'They are taking your visit very seriously.' This is all good and very positive” for our trade mission endeavors.
This is indeed a first for us," Macklin said.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana, Sampson pointed out. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration.
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.