Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman is back on the ground in China with another trade mission focusing on new trade and economic opportunities there. Agriculture is part of the delegation and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay spoke with HAT from China after the first meeting of the trip.
“We’ve just completed the morning session of the ninth Indiana-Zhejiang economic exchange and trade summit,” he said. “I’m always interested in the conversations beside the ones I’m involved with myself, on let’s talk about opportunities in hardwoods, or processed corn, or food oils, or those kinds of products that Indiana grows, develops, and adds value to. We’re really excited about the opportunities that we’re seeing here at the very early beginnings of what I believe will be another successful mission to China.”
Indiana has realized over a quarter billion dollar improvement in agricultural exports to China since outreach to that country started. Do these trade missions hope to maintain exports or is there a strong feeling that exports can expand? Kelsay says both, but they’re excited about growth opportunities.
“I think as we look at the growth perspectives and the opportunity for changes in diets, and product needs, and the kinds of futuristic looks and trends that we see with our friends here in China, the opportunity for Indiana is very bright. We really expect that trade can continue to grow at levels that we’re trying to really focus on.”
Kelsay added those focus areas are “new areas as well as those traditional avenues where agriculture products and investment can really benefit our Indiana state as well as around the world.”
The state has a history on these trips of witnessing actual business deals, and Kelsay said after securing any of those deals we’ll get official announcements from the Lt. Governor’s office.
The full HAT interview with Joe Kelsay is here:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/06/Joe-Kelsay-from-China-June-12.mp3|titles=Joe Kelsay from China June 12]
Lt. Governor Skillman Recognizes Indiana’s 25-Year Relationship with Zhejiang
Lt. Governor Becky Skillman Wednesday was joined by Vice Governor Gong Zheng of Zhejiang province to recognize the 25th anniversary of Indiana and Zhejiang’s sister-state relationship. In 1987 Governor Robert Orr established Indiana’s relationship with the Chinese province.
Lt. Governor Skillman is leading an economic development mission in China, June 11-17. After a full day of events, including hosting the Indiana Business Summit and private meetings with Chinese businesses, the Lt. Governor delivered the keynote address at the anniversary banquet.
“Governor Orr had incredible foresight to recognize the potential for growth Indiana stood to gain, and the Governor and I are proud to continue his legacy,” Lt. Governor Skillman said. “Today our partnership with China is strong, and there are opportunities for additional job growth and investment.”
Lt. Governor Skillman presented Vice Governor Shen Zulu with the Governor Robert Orr International Friendship Award. The Vice Governor signed the original agreement establishing Zhejiang’s sister-province relationship with Indiana. Governor Mitch Daniels and the Lt. Governor created the award, and the Vice Governor was the first person to receive it.
The Lt. Governor also presented an Indiana limestone carving, donated to the state to give to Zhejiang, recognizing the 25-year anniversary of the sister-state relationship. In return she accepted a wood carving on behalf of the state of Indiana from Zhejiang officials.
During her second trade mission to China, the Lt. Governor is meeting with prospective importers of Hoosier goods, Chinese government officials and representatives of Chinese businesses. China is Indiana’s second largest Asian trading partner.
From 2000 to 2010, Indiana’s exports to China grew by 554 percent. This is Lt. Governor Skillman’s sixth international trade mission, and second to China.
Additional information about the economic development mission to China is available on the Lt. Governor’s website, www.lg.in.gov/china2012.htm. Tax dollars are not being used to fund this trade mission.
Source: Office of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman