Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will lead a delegation of 18 representatives from Indiana agri-businesses and State agriculture and rural affairs agencies on a twelve-day agricultural trade mission to China. The group will depart on June 22 and return on July 3.
Lt. Governor Ellspermann explained the goals of the trip, “Based on our successful trade mission to Asia last summer, we know that there is a vast market for Indiana agricultural and food products to feed the billions of people living in this part of the world. Through personal visits with government and industry officials, our delegation will build the relationships that will lead to increased agricultural trade in the years to come.”
She added, “Indiana’s $25 billion agriculture industry leads the nation in the production of food products ranging from ducks to popcorn and is in the top five states in corn, soybeans, pork, turkeys and chicken. Our agriculture labs and pharmaceutical companies also provide medicines and products that protect crop and animal health and improve productivity across all of segments of the agriculture industry. We are eager to share this information and show how we can serve the expanding Chinese market.”
The itinerary will include stops in Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu, as well as visits to Zhejiang Province, sister state to Indiana and Tianjin, the maritime gateway to Beijing.
The cost of the state delegation is being covered through private donations. In addition to Lt. Governor Ellspermann, the state will be represented by State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney and Office of Community and Rural Affairs Director Bill Konyha.
This will be Ellspermann’s second international trade mission as Lt. Governor. In 2013, she led a delegation to Asia with stops in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Lt. Governor’s trade mission comes on the heels of Governor Mike Pence’s jobs and economic development mission to China in May. There, the Governor shared Indiana’s strengths during a number of meetings with prominent Chinese companies and multiple government leaders. China is Indiana’s fifth largest export partner, with Hoosier companies exporting $1.4 billion in goods to the country in 2014.