Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman is off on her last Agricultural Trade Mission to China. The delegation is comprised of business and agribusiness representatives, Pork Producers, Farm Bureau officials, and several mayors from around the state. The focus of the mission will be new trade and economic opportunities. Skillman told HAT this trip is a bit different from the past several trips the state has made to China, “One thing that makes the dynamic of this trip different and bit exciting is the fact that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the sister state relationship with Zhejiang province.” The original agreement was established by Governor Bob Orr, and Skillman said he would be proud of how the relationship has grown.
But, do these trade missions really result in more business for Indiana agriculture? Skillman said they do, “We were exporting about $670 million in agricultural goods to China before any outreach by state government began. Since our efforts got underway, the level of trade has increased significantly.” Today Indiana exports over $1 billion in agricultural goods to China.
The trip, which is being financed with private donations, will be packed with business to business contact opportunities. Skillman told HAT one of the first activities on the mission will be a business summit with over 40 Chinese businesses, “Who will be meeting with my delegation, and there will be plenty of time for them to talk one on one.” 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. Delegates from Bedford, Decatur, Fort Wayne, Muncie and White County will meet with representatives from their sister-cities.
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. During the Lt. Governor’s trip to China in 2010, on-the-spot deals were made for Indiana popcorn and hardwoods.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/06/t5rade-mission-wrap.mp3|titles=Skillman Set Off on Last Ag Trade Mission]
Members of the delegation:
Lt. Governor Becky Skillman
Tracy Belcher, Pacific World Trade
Bradley Bookout, City of Muncie
Jessica Cheng, Pacific World Trade
Isabella Chism, Indiana Farm Bureau
Matt Claeys, Purdue University
Troy Clay, Mno-Bmadsen Economic Development
Randy Curless, Indiana Pork
Jeff Day, EHOB
Tom Dusing, Travel Leaders Indianapolis
Mayor Shawna Girgis, City of Bedford
Randall Head, City of Logansport
Chuck Hibberd, Purdue University
Larry Ingraham, Ingraham & Associates, Inc.
Dennis Kelley, Pacific World Trade
Joe Kelsay, Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)
Michael Kern, Gaylor Inc.
Sam Krouse, ISDA
Kun Ma, Indiana University Health
Larry Macklin, Adams County Economic Development Corporation
Virgil Madden, Office of the Lt. Governor
Mayor Chris McBarnes, City of Frankfort
Gene McCracken, Lawrence County Economic Growth Council
Jamie Medlock, Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
Terry Murphy, Muncie-Delaware County Economic Alliance
Matt Neff, Indiana University Health
Connie Neininger, White County Economic Development
Trace Ostergren, Serenity Springs Resort
John Sampson, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
Linda Sanders, Wessler Engineering
Mayor John Schultz, City of Decatur
Gina Sheets, ISDA
Shan Sheridan, Clinton County Chamber of Commerce
Tyler Stock, Office of the Lt. Governor
Lisa Swaim, City of Logansport
Tom Topash, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
Amy Warner, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Joe Yuan, Pacific World Trade