Lower taxes and higher wages are what Indiana Sec. of Commerce Brad Chambers says result from the trips that the governor has taken overseas to promote doing business in and with Indiana. Gov. Eric Holcomb and Chambers are in Germany and Switzerland this week on the 12th such trip.
“The old Woody Allen saying, 90 percent of life is just showing up, and that’s certainly true when you’re out and building our economy on the international stage,” said Chambers, in a Friday interview about the trip.
He’s been Secretary of Commerce for just over a year and said at first he didn’t appreciate the international nature of the state’s economy. But, it soon became apparent that a big part of the growth of the state’s economy is dependent upon its relationships with businesses around the world.
“A lot of people don’t really appreciate how global our economy truly is,” said Chambers. “We’ve got over a thousand companies, international businesses and companies, represented in our economic output.”
He said the trips are largely diplomatic, saying thank you to the companies that have chosen to do business in Indiana, and being visible to companies that might.
The trip to Germany and Switzerland has some definite goals, meeting with some of the 500 or so European businesses with branches i the Hoosier State.
“We’ve got some really important German-owned companies, I think maybe 130 or so German-owned companies in our state including Roche Pharmaceuticals, which is a really big name and important contributor to our state’s economy and job growth,” he said.
Chambers said new business relationships can come from such trips and can mean high-paying jobs for Hoosiers. One example is from a trip to Slovakia earlier this year.
“Out of that trip, just through a couple of the meetings we had, we’ve now announced an EV battery supplier that’s choosing Indianapolis for an R&D facility and a battery factory after that,” he said. “When we were in the UK, there’s a company called Xurban that’s doing e-waste recycling in Ft. Wayne, and they’ve announced an over $300 million investment.”
Chambers said that direct impact for Hoosiers are the high-paying jobs, the higher tax revenues from the companies, which results in lower taxes for Hoosiers.
“We grow our business base here. We raise wages. We generate revenue to the state and then that revenue gets reinvested in the form of lower taxes and community benefits.”
The trips are paid for through private donations from businesses listed on the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s website.