Irish Ambassador: Indiana Has 'Sense of Its Own Future'

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The Ambassador of Ireland to the United States says he hopes a U.S. State Department-sponsored visit to Indianapolis, Columbus and Bloomington will sprout new relationships and global investment opportunities in Indiana. Daniel Mulhall is one of more than 30 foreign dignitaries who toured major Hoosier employers like Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Indiana University and networked with community leaders and executives through the Experience America initiative. Mulhall says the visit helps create impressions the ambassadors can take with them, demonstrating "America is not just the East Coast and West Cost, it's not just north and south, there's also the Midwest, which has attractions of its own."

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Mulhall discussed the many links between Ireland and Indiana. "Eli Lilly has a big operation in Ireland and we're very proud of that connection with Eli Lilly," Mulhall said. "Many companies from Ireland have investments here. For example, Kerry Foods, which originally was a small co-operative creamery in the west of Ireland now has a major plant in Evansville -- in Indiana. So, at the moment, we're seeing a two-way flow of investment between Ireland and the United States."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says there are 38 Irish-owned companies in Indiana. He didn't have Indiana-specific figures, but said $100 billion in trade annually occurs between Ireland and the United States. "America is made up of many, many different, dynamic areas," he said. "This is a state which has a sense of its own future and an optimism and an approach to the world that I think is very encouraging. Clearly, like Ireland, Indiana is a state that's open to the world, that wants to connect with the world, and that is, I think, a big virtue and a big advantage for any state, for any country in today's world."

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