Fresh off a successful trade trip to Manitoba, Canada, Indiana officials had visitors of their own last week to help build trade relationships. Officials from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia met with the Lieutenant Governor’s office, Indiana Farm Bureau, and Purdue University. The talks were primarily focused around building relationships between Indiana and their countries, specifically around agriculture.
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said, “They’re meeting with us to do much of what we also did with Manitoba. To explore how we can have partnerships, how we can have agreements, how we can exchange ideas through our university, through our business level, and through the government level so that all their countries and our state can benefit as a result of those relationships.”
She told Hoosier Ag Today that Purdue was in talks to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Manitoba after their most recent trade trip to Canada. Kocsy Bela, Purdue graduate and the director of international affairs and trade for the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, said they signed an MOU with Purdue last week.
“The main reason that we signed the MOU was to exchange students, to encourage people to come over and study here in Indiana to get the newest techniques and technological possibilities, and to also get connected closer to Indiana.”
They also signed an MOU with Indiana Farm Bureau last week to share information. IFB President Randy Kron called it, “a great exercise in relationship-building” and “mutually beneficial.”
“If you want to have trade with countries, they’ve got to feel comfortable with you. You’ve got to build a relationship first before they’re going to do business. And so, this was the first step of maybe several, but it opens the door and they know that we’re willing to work with them.
From all accounts, the talks were successful. Another Hungarian official told HAT that he loves Indiana because everyone here has been so open and helpful. Kron says the dialogue doesn’t stop here, adding that they received an invite to visit Central Europe and hope to do so in the future.