Governor Mike Pence will head to Japan next month on his first foreign trade mission as Indiana’s governor.
Japan is Indiana’s single largest foreign source of jobs, with nearly 44,000 Hoosiers employed by Japanese companies. And since 2005, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has secured projects with 82 Japan-based companies, which is predicted to create more than ten thousand new jobs.
IEDC Vice President Stephen Akard says the trade mission is particularly important as the new governor introduces himself.
“This is a great opportunity for the governor to make an initial first impression, his first trip overseas, to reach out to the existing companies from Japan as well as a lot of their partners to help keep Indiana active on their investment horizon,” Akard says.
Akard, who will be on the trip, says it sometimes takes years for Hoosiers to see the results of trade missions in terms of job creation. But he says the trips to Asia are particularly important as a way to build personal relationships.
“Certainly within Asian cultures it tends to be very important; that long term commitment is required,” he says. “It’s remarked to us very often how important that is, the reach-out that Indiana has done in particular.”
The governor will leave Sept. 5 and return Sept. 14. The trip is funded through private contributions to the IEDC.