Here’s a look back at 2018
In 2018, the Indy Partnership continued work to raise the Indy Region’s profile in global business, under the umbrella of our regional economic development strategy and linked to our local advancement of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. Our programs grew this year — thank you to our participating companies, funders, and partners for making these efforts possible. Looking forward to more in 2019!
Trade education and awareness
Rising trade tensions made trade awareness vital in 2018. Our Global Indy initiatives included trade education and stories about how our local economy is impacted by a trade war.
- Our World Trade Day event on April 10 brought 120 guests together for a half-day conference featuring updates on NAFTA and sessions on exporting and FDI, immigration and trade, and doing business in various nations.
- We spoke about trade tensions on Inside Indiana Business and published op-eds on tariffs in the Indiana Business Journal and Indy Star.
- Our advocacy team signed a letter supporting bipartisan legislation on Congressional oversight of any proposals to raise tariffs in the interest of national security.
- We spoke in various forums about the importance of global trade to Indiana, including at a NAFTA Roundtable with Lieutenant Governor Crouch and the 2018 Indiana Ag Policy Summit.
Increasing exports from Indy Region small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continues to be one of our major goals, given their potential for growth and impact on the local economy.
July marked the two-year anniversary of our GoGlobal Grant program for export acceleration, by which time we awarded over $80,000 in grants to 15 regional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The program, funded by JPMorgan Chase through our Brookings Global Cities initiative, has had an impact:
- 57% of grant recipients reported increased exports;
- An additional 21% of recipients were still following leads directly resulting from the grants; and
- 7 new jobs were reported by grant recipients as a result of this funding, with 2 companies also planning add positions in the future.
Export education and events
- Companies from across Indiana attended our seminars on expert compliance and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), delivered in partnership with the US Department of Commerce Indianapolis office, with the support of the Indiana District Export Council, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP.
- We conducted business matchmaking between local heavy-duty vehicle component suppliers and a Chinese delegation hosted by the US Trade & Development Agency, with the America China Society of Indiana and US Department of Commerce Indianapolis office.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to be a focus as a driver of local growth, given the over 330 foreign firms that operate and employ Hoosiers in the Indy Region:
To promote our region as a global brand for business recruitment, the Indy Partnership completed four trade missions in 2018, with visits to Germany, Switzerland, France, and the United Kingdom. A recap of the most recent trade mission can be found here.
Outcomes from the trade missions included new and developing relationships with:
- Companies that may be interested in expanding to the Indy Region;
- Peer institutions, such as other chambers of commerce, that may wish to partner in building business between the Indianapolis region and Europe; and
- Connections with industry clusters that complement our regional strengths.
Global Indy Business Center
In 2018, we developed our new Global Indy Business Center, which provides international firms with up to six months of free office space and wraparound services to help them explore, understand and launch in the Indianapolis regional market.
Building bridges to our region
We have also continued building bridges between the Indy Region and the world to raise the region’s international business profile:
- In May, we hosted a business breakfast to introduce the Indy Region to 23 visiting foreign ambassadors, through the US Department of State Experience America Program.
- We held a Doing Business in Ecuador lunch in June.
- Throughout the year, we welcomed delegations from Pays de la Loire, France, the French American Chamber of Commerce,Germany, Nigeria, Israel, Australia, and Argentina. We also helped welcome a delegation from Dubai with a lunch featuring Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger with the World Trade Center.
In all, Global Indy programs engaged with close to 175 companies and over 35 countries amongst the delegations, events, and officials we hosted this year. Thank you to all who helped us to strengthen this foundation on which we’re building our global business efforts. We welcome your partnership in our global efforts in 2019!