Asia trip puts state’s strengths in spotlight | Columnists

As I return from our trip to Asia, I have much to report.

The world has never been smaller and more connected, and we have made even more inroads in ensuring that Indiana is at the forefront of the global economy. At every stop, every meeting, every visit in Taiwan and South Korea, we are hearing the same message: Indiana is leading the way in building the industries and economy of the future.

Our strong STEM universities, such as Purdue and Rose-Hulman, make us an ideal partner in cultivating a skilled talent pipeline.

Our current investments and partnerships are giving us great momentum in advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, electric vehicles, agbiosciences and life sciences.

And our focus on innovation and new technology will well position the state’s economy and, more importantly, Hoosiers for the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.

We have again connected the state with eager partners across the globe, and it is abundantly clear: Together we can provide the technology, the talent and the 21st century solutions to meet the demands of today and tomorrow in exciting fields.

In Taipei, our delegation was met with much enthusiasm; I was the first US governor to visit since the pandemic. Taiwan has long been a global leader in chips and microelectronics, and I affirmed in my discussions with President Tsai Ing-wen and top government officials that Taiwan is building on this expertise and aims to build partnerships with states or countries that can work together to advance next-generation industries, such as telecommunications, electric vehicles, semiconductors, cybersecurity and sustainable energy.

Indiana is, of course, a natural fit, and we are pushing forward. As the first state to sign a memorandum of understanding on semiconductors and supply chain resiliency with Taiwan, we will work in close collaboration with the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs to accelerate and future-proof these 21st century industries, while advancing academic cooperation and economic development and investments.

Similarly, South Korea’s economy is robust and technology-driven, and we have a shared focus on the futures of mobility and energy.

In Seoul, we met with executives of Samsung SDI, including President and CEO Yoonho Choi, and Stellantis to celebrate their transformational, $2.5 billion EV battery plant being built in Kokomo. We also met with prospective companies and shared the many advantages of doing business in Indiana.

And, at the American Chamber of Commerce’s Korea Digital Innovation Forum, we were able to highlight Indiana’s technology ecosystem to the country’s tech industry heavyweights.

Indiana’s economic momentum and our ability to deliver on these key partnerships is a testament to our businesses, industry partners and academic institutions.

That collaboration was underscored by the presence of our travel companions, Purdue University President-elect Mung Chiang and Dean of College of Engineering Mark Lundstrum, who serve as an example of the partnerships we have in research and development, private sector and academia. They too are focused on furthering our global partnerships, and I’m pleased to report that Purdue signed three new agreements in Taiwan focused on encouraging international cooperation in education, research, and industry partnerships and building a robust talent pipeline.

Indiana’s story is one I couldn’t be more proud to tell in Taiwan and South Korea because we have such a compelling story to share.

The partnerships strengthened and built during this trip will lead to more chapters in that Hoosier success story and more opportunities for our state to lead innovation nationally and globally in the months and years ahead.

Eric Holcomba Republican, is governor of Indiana.

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