STATEHOUSE – Working to increase Hoosier exports, grow local companies and attract investment, State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford), in partnership with the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, will host a U.S. - Canada Trade Conference in Bedford on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at the Quality Inn conference center.
The event will feature a luncheon with remarks by Rep. Koch, Radius Indiana President and CEO Becky Skillman, and Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Medlock, and a keynote speech by Canadian Consul General Roy Norton, followed by a program featuring Canadian Consul and Trade Commissioner Delon Chan on the topic of “Doing Business With Canada.” Wanda Heath of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Jeremy Sowders of Radius Indiana, and Gene McCracken of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council will also participate in a panel discussion on how local businesses can identify export opportunities with Canada.
“You can look at this as a ‘reverse’ trade mission, bringing Canada to our community,” said Rep. Koch, who is a friend of the Consul General from working together on the Keystone XL Pipeline and New International Trade Crossing projects. “I saw great potential for investment, business relationships, and export opportunities - particularly for our local small and medium sized manufacturers - and proposed the idea to Roy during a recent visit to Indianapolis.”
Canada is Indiana’s largest export market, purchasing 34 percent of our foreign-bound goods in the amount of $11.9 billion annually. Indiana sells more goods to Canada than our next five largest foreign markets combined. 180,400 jobs in Indiana depend on trade with Canada. Top Hoosier exports to Canada include:
• Motor vehicle parts: $1.7 billion
“Canada is a great friend and a well-established trading partner,” said Rep. Koch. “This conference will be a great opportunity for local companies to explore business relationships and export opportunities. More exports mean more jobs. It will also be a chance to showcase our community for potential investment by Canadian companies. I know that they will be impressed by what we have to offer.”
Rep. Koch represents all or parts of Brown, Lawrence, Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.