Indy Partnership Mission to Europe – Building Bridges

Indy Chamber News Archives

by: Maureen Donohue Krauss, Chief Economic Development Officer, Indy Chamber

The Indy Partnership recently embarked on a 10-day trade mission to Germany and Italy to promote the Indy region to key decision makers in both countries. The purpose of such a mission is three fold, and all goals were accomplished during our stay.

The initial driver to the mission was the Frankfurt Auto Show. Considered the largest and most impactful show of its kind, the show combines new product unveiling with participation from the OEMs and Tier One and Tier Two suppliers. Cooperating with the IEDC, we visited new prospects looking at expansion to the U.S. market, visited with decision makers at companies that already have a presence in our region, and learned about the new trends in technology development in the auto industry. Certainly the development of autonomous vehicles and the implications for suppliers and communities is a key takeaway when looking at global trends in the auto industry.

We also spent time visiting firms that are headquartered in Europe but have a presence in the Indy region. It is important to meet with the key decision makers who decide where they will be expanding globally, as well as to thank them for their current investment and let them know that we are here as a region to support their expansion plans. One meeting in particular has already resulted in follow up meetings locally – the company, with over 100 employees, has had some challenges locally and was unaware of several programs that could assist them. They have the capacity to double in size in the next several years, and are being courted by other states for their expansion. They were extremely appreciative of our visit and our interest in assisting them to stay and grow in our region.

Finally, we spent time connecting with multipliers that bring projects to the U.S., to let them know the assets that are available in our region and how we work to help companies set up operations here. In addition, these connections give us insight into export opportunities for our firms as they look to become global players.  Visiting key partners abroad such as the Torino Chamber of Commerce, The U.S. Commercial Service office in Milan, an international site consultant in Germany, and trade associations, we are forming relationships to help to spread the word about our region and our assets and puts us top of mind when companies are interested in looking to the U.S. for growth. We are looking at several agreements to make more permanent connections between our region and strategic regions in Germany and Italy as a result of this mission.

Our efforts to move our region to thinking and acting globally are an important deliverable from our Global Cities strategy, developed with the support of the Brookings Institute and J.P. Morgan Chase. Offering GoGlobal grants, connection businesses to export counseling efforts, and welcoming international delegations and dignitaries, we are focused on raising the visibility of our region as a global hub. We plan to help our local companies grow their markets around the world, and encourage more foreign investment into the Indy region, bringing new opportunities for talent and diverse growth to our economy.

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