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Agriculture Included in Latest Indiana Trade Mission

Joe Kelsay

Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced this week that she is leading another Indiana trade mission to China.  State Director of Agriculture Joe Kelsay says this visit to China will be very special for Indiana’s relationship with China, “This will mark the 25th adversary of Indiana’s relationship with Zhejiang province.”  Indiana and Zhejiang began a sister-state relationship in 1987 under the leadership of Governor Robert Orr. Kelsay told HAT that, over the years, great relationships have developed between many Indiana cities and cities in China. He noted, “This trip will be a chance to celebrate this anniversary with our friends in China.”


The delegation will leave June 11 and return June 17. In Zhejiang, meetings will take place in Indianapolis’ sister city of Hangzhou and Anderson’s sister city of Yuhang. The delegation will also spend one day in Beijing. While the exact mix of commodity groups and ag companies that will be on the trip has not been finalized, Kelsay says he expects good things to come out of the mission, “We may be able to do some sales on the spot; but, looking forward, this mission will strengthen relationships with those who may want to buy Indiana agricultural products or make investments in rural Indiana.”


As a result of past missions, Indiana pork, wine, popcorn, and hardwoods have found new customers in China.  Kelsay said Indiana agriculture is uniquely positioned to serve the growing Chinese market, “We can serve as the world’s grocery store with the products we grow and make here and provide those markets to a growing economy like China.”   This will be Lt. Governor Skillman’s sixth international trade mission. She has led delegations to Central America in 2005, Taiwan and Vietnam in 2006, Mexico in 2008, China in 2010, and Japan in 2011.

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