INDIANAPOLIS - The America China Society of Indiana will this week embark on a week-long trade mission to China. The organization says it plans to meet with officials and prospective companies in Shanghai and Hangzhou to showcase Indiana and help Hoosier companies export and trade with Chinese counterparts. Executive Director Colin Renk says the organization works closely with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and is starting to see more interest in Indiana from China businesses because other similar organizations are tending to shy away due to the country's trade issues.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Renk says the goal is to maintain the state's relationship with China.

"What we've seen is, with the trade and tariff issues, a lot of that relationship building that folks have been doing throughout the nation has really started to deteriorate," said Renk. "So one of the things both the IEDC and ourselves are doing (is) really trying to take a step up and showcase that Indiana is a partner willing to do business."

Renk says Indiana has about 25 to 30 Chinese companies making true foreign direct investment in the state. He says interest from Chinese companies about locating in Indiana has increased just over the last few months. 

Renk says the small delegation will meet with prospective companies, as well as representatives from Hoosier businesses with operations in China and vice versa. "We're trying to tell Indiana's story but also look at it from an objective standpoint because there's a lot of growth potential and so Indiana can be an easier market to come into than a more sophisticated market like New York or Los Angeles, so that creates a lot of opportunity as well. 

The trade mission will run from March 7 through March 16.

The America China Society of Indiana was founded in 2011. It is a statewide chamber of commerce that facilitates bilateral business exchanges between Indiana and China.