INDIANAPOLIS - The International Center and the World Trade Center Indianapolis have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement aims to "promote better collaboration between the two entities." Ashley Eason, vice president of programs and services for The International Center, says the partnership will help support the state's agenda more broadly when it comes to international engagement.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Eason said both entities are working toward the ongoing goal of seeing Indiana succeed. 

"We're so excited just to have the opportunity to engage with World Trade Center Indianapolis and IEDC more broadly," said Eason. "We're a unique organization. We're right at the nexus of business, academia, nonprofit, local and state government serving international interest all across the board. Because of that, we're thrilled to be able to partner with organizations like World Trade Center Indianapolis to ensure that our state looks good, that we have opportunities, we can compete with our neighbors, but also with neighbors that are on other continents."

Both the International Center and WTC Indy plan to seek opportunities to increase cultural exchanges, expand the global footprint for small and medium-size enterprises, build market awareness and create jobs through international trade. As part of the MOU, WTC Indy expects to host trade presentations, seminars and conferences through partnership and invite potential trade partners from around the U.S. and the world to Indianapolis.

The International Center says it will use its network to publicize WTC Indy trade services and activities, and also encourage participation by partner companies in WTC trade services, educational seminars and activities.

Eason says name recognition is one of Indiana's biggest hurdles when it comes to attracting international companies.

"Indiana hasn't been at the table as often as it should be and I think organizations like World Trade Center Indianapolis and the International Center and many others are working really hard to ensure that Indiana is known all over the world and that we are known as a wonderful place to locate their business, to invest in and that we're a welcoming community to all international companies, all international employees, and that they can find a home here and be successful."

The MOU will last for a period of one year and is automatically renewable.