Holcomb to lead six-day trade trip to Brazil, Mexico

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By Mickey Shuey

Indiana Business Journal

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will lead a delegation to Mexico and Brazil for an economic development trip next week, his office said Thursday.

The six-day trip with Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg and several other economic development officials and business leaders will be the governor’s first development-related excursion to either country since taking office in 2017 and his second economic development trip this year, following a visit to Canada.

The governor and his wife, Janet Holcomb, are scheduled to depart Indianapolis on Friday and return April 19.

The delegation will focus on building relationships in agriculture and biosciences. The Brazil portion of the trip will have a convoy that includes Don Lamb, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Mitch Frazier, CEO of AgriNovus Indiana; Alex Cochran, chief technology officer of DPH Biologicals; Courtney Kingery, CEO of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance; and Dr. Jerry Shively, associate dean for international programs for Purdue University College of Agriculture.

Trade between Indiana and Brazil topped $1.7 billion in 2023, with 14 Brazil-based companies in the state. The relationship between Indiana and Mexico is significantly larger, with $13.4 billion in trade last year, involving 13 Mexico-based companies.

In Mexico City, the governor will meet with government officials including U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Mexican Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro to explore opportunities to increase trade and grow two-way investment across agriculture, agbiosciences and other economic opportunities.

“Indiana agriculture and agbiosciences continues to be a catalyst for economic and community growth, contributing $58.1 billion annually to the state’s economy,” Holcomb said in written remarks. “Brazil and Mexico both represent opportunities to collaborate and mutually advance trade, innovation and investment across the sector, spurring developments across food safety, security and sustainability that are critical to the global economy of the future.”

In Mexico, Holcomb will be joined by representatives of the state and U.S. agbiosciences and agriculture sector, including Frazier; Kingery; Leonardo Chapula, marketing specialist at the U.S. Soybean Export Council; Doug Newcom, vice president of genetics and technology at the National Swine Registry; and Paul Siems, export sales manager at Weaver Popcorn.

The trip will be Gov. Holcomb’s 22nd international economic development excursion as governor. The governor’s office said the trip is being funded through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.