Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman is assembling a delegation to leave on what will be her final trade mission to China as Indiana’s lieutenant governor.
Accompanied by 25 other delegates, the Lieutenant Governor says she will look for new business opportunities for the state as well as catching up with previous contacts.
Skillman says the trip marks the 25th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Indiana and China, adding there are specific industries she hopes to bolster.
“We have great potential for growth and investment from China in auto manufacturing parts, with furniture manufacturing and agriculture continues to be one huge area of promise,” she says.
The relationship between Indiana and China was established in the 1980s by then-Governor Robert Orr. In the last 3 years Chinese companies have invested 130-Million dollars in the state.
Gene McCracken is the Executive Director Lawrence County Economic Growth Council and will travel to China with Skillman and Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis. He cautions any business advancements will take time.
“Don’t expect overnight results. Certainly we hope to have results, but nothing that quick. The Chinese government and the Chinese people don’t operate like we do,” McCracken says. “If we come up with an idea we develop and get it in production they discuss it and discuss it and discuss it and make sure it’s the right decision before they take any steps. So we realize that and we’re working towards that goal.”
McCracken says he hopes to strengthen the city of Bedford’s relationship with Chinese firms while on the trip.