Indiana Gov. Pence to spend week in China trying to drum up business for state

Associated Press

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is set to leave for a weeklong trip to China that he says is aimed at attracting business investment to the state.

Pence, who leaves Saturday, will meet with Chinese business executives and government officials during his trip. He'll also host a reception with the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association at the American Embassy in Beijing, his office said.

Continue Reading Below

He will also travel to Shanghai and Hangzhou, and he plans to visit the Chinese operations of Indiana-based companies Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins Inc. Another reception is scheduled Shanghai for graduates from Indiana universities living in the area.

China is the fifth largest recipient of exports from Indiana, with exports totaling $1.4 billion in 2014, according to state officials.

Pence said he wants to have Chinese businesses consider Indiana when they are investing in North America.

"What I've learned on my other foreign trips is that getting in front of those decision makers, telling Indiana's story, can make a real difference," Pence said. "It can mean investment and jobs."

Those traveling with the governor include first lady Karen Pence and state Commerce Secretary Victor Smith. The governor is scheduled to return May 16, with the trip's cost is being paid through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation, Pence's office said.

The China trip will be Pence's six foreign trade trip since he became governor in early 2013. The other trips were to Japan in 2013, followed by visits to Germany, Great Britain, Canada and Israel last year.