Governor goes to Germany on jobs mission

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Mike Pence leaves Saturday on his second foreign trade mission as governor. This trip is unusual for two reasons.

First, Mike Pence is not going to Asia, the destination for almost every other foreign trade mission by an Indiana governor. He is going to Germany.

Secondly, he’s not taking a big delegation with him. It’s what the Pence Administration calls a “targeted mission.”

When Mike Pence left for Japan last year he took a delegation with him that included local government officials and business leaders. This time his travel companions are limited to First Lady Karen Pence and economic development professionals who serve in his administration.

“This trip, for me, is going to be about building relationships with companies that are already invested in Indiana,” said Gov. Pence, “encouraging them to grow but also we’re going to be meeting with companies that may be looking to come to the Heartland.”

Among the companies he will visit is Zentis, a fruit processing company that already has this plant in Plymouth, Indiana. He will also visit the company’s vocational training facility.

Commerce Secretary Victor Smith will be on the trip.

“12 and a half thousand Hoosiers work for German companies,” said Smith. “On the other side they’re also the third largest importer of Indiana goods.”

Much as he did in Japan, the governor will host a reception for companies interested in doing business in Indiana and he will visit a couple of prospects that are not being identified publicly.

“We’re going to try to get some sales here,” said Smith. “We’re going to get some commitments to locations and direct investments right here in Indiana.”

It’s all about going where the jobs are.

“Germany is our third largest trading partner,” said the governor. “We have a significant amount of direct foreign investment by German companies in Indiana.”

The governor and First Lady will also meet with Indiana service men and women who are stationed in Germany and they will visit the U.S. Embassy for a briefing on the German economy.

They will be gone for a week.

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