Pence talks economic development, foreign policy in Germany

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Governor Mike Pence is in Berlin Wednesday evening where he conducted a reception for German business owners looking to make investments in Indiana.

He’s on a trade mission that has produced two jobs announcements so far, but the numbers aren’t big and he used the opportunity to make some eye catching remarks on foreign policy.

The story of the governor’s trade mission is told in photographs on the state website. He and first lady Karen Pence visited a military base and soldiers from Indiana before he began pursuing economic development.

“And when you look at Germany and you see it really is the heart of the economy of Europe,” he said in an interview over an Internet hookup, “I think this represesents a great opportunity for our state.”

The two jobs announcement are captured on video. Norres, an industrial hose manufacturer, will establish a plant in South Bend.

“And we’ll very soon start with production and sales in Indiana,” says a Norres spokesman on the video.

It means 30 new jobs.

The Jäger Group, an automotive supplier, will expand an existing plant in LaPorte.

“And we will need 50 new people within the next two years,” said Andreas Jäger.

They are relatively small investments but the governor expressed his belief that they constitute momentum.

“I think we’re sowing important seeds,” he said. “We’re hearing some good news but I think the long term is going to be very, very positive here in Germany.”

The governor also visited with companies that already have Indiana facilities.

“It’s all a part of what I think is a very important process,” he said, “of telling Indiana’s story in countries around the world.”

At that Berlin reception Wednesday night he managed to criticize American foreign policy regarding Russia. He called it conciliatory and said it’s failed.

It has already led to media speculation that Pence is in Germany to lay groundwork for a Presidential bid in 2016.

Thursday he will visit the American embassy and meet with German government leaders.

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