Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong has returned from a business trip to Asia, where he said the economic outlook is optimistic. Even a bout with jetlag was not enough to dampen the Columbus mayor’s spirits when he talked about the possibility of an auto parts manufacturer or an aluminum coil foundry locating in Indiana because of his visit to China and Japan.
“They all felt that the business in the US – specifically Columbus – is going to be growing,” Armstrong said. “And that’s good news, I think, for the home front. For not only Columbus, but the state of Indiana. They’re very, very pleased with the way they’ve been treated. Actually, there were no negatives at all.”
Speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor,” Armstrong says he doesn’t think all the companies will – or even can – locate in his city, but believes the climate is right for ramped up investment in Indiana as a whole. Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar says that’s no reason for Armstrong to fret, though, adding that investment anywhere in the state will have indirect benefits for Bartholomew County.
“That will employ people, there’ll be taxes paid. Obviously, he won’t get the benefit of the local taxes, but to the extent we grow the pie and there’s resources at the state level for infrastructure and education other human capital development, that will benefit his community and the employers and employees that live and work in that community as well,” Brinegar said.
Armstrong isn’t he only Indiana officials heading to the Far East on a trade mission. A delegation including Governor Mitch Daniels and Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight is set to leave at the end of the week.