Governor Eric Holcomb says a new economic development partnership with Hungary taps into a market "where the growth is occurring." The memorandum of understanding, which Holcomb calls a first-of-its-kind agreement between a state and the country, sets the table for cooperation among governmental entities, education and research institutions and businesses. Indiana’s business and academic communities have several connections to Hungary, including Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), Remy International Inc. in Pendleton, Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN), Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame.
He jokes that he wants to keep the collaboration "a secret as long as I can." Indiana and Hungary are similar in size, population and Gross Domestic Product and are share key industries including automotive, agribusiness, life sciences and technology.
More than 800 foreign-owned businesses have a presence in Indiana and Holcomb says the process of building relationships like the one announced in Hungary started decades ago for Indiana. "As markets change and emerge, we have to go to those places and it comes down to developing relationships," he told Inside INdiana Business before leaving Hungary for France, the next leg of leading his first trade delegation as governor. "You have to be on the ground, you have to be shaking hands and looking each other eye-to-eye. There’s a trust that develops over time and I’m very encouraged about where Indiana’s place — not just in the nation, but in the world — will be five, 10, 15 years from now."
The delegation met with business leaders, as well as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Academy of Sciences President László Lovász and leaders from Hungarian chambers and associations focusing on the agriculture and automotive sectors.
View the memorandum of understanding:
You can follow along with the Indiana trade delegation by clicking here.
Holcomb jokes that he wants to keep the collaboration “a secret as long as I can.”