BEDFORD, Ind. (March 19, 2018) — Radius Indiana hosted “A Radius-Japan Dialogue” March 19 at the French Lick Resort to introduce members from the Consulate-General of Japan and Japan External Trade Organization Chicago to the Radius region.
Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, and Becky Skillman, chair of the Radius Board of Directors, along with nearly 60 guests including local economic development professionals, business leaders and local and state elected officials welcomed Consul-General Naoki Ito and JETRO Chief Executive Director Ralph Inforzato to the Radius region. The event is a first for the region and was designed for Radius stakeholders to learn more about the Indiana-Japan relationship as well as explore opportunities for collaboration.
Radius plans to take its first international economic development trip to Japan later this year and believes opening a dialogue for the region is key to building strong relationships for potential foreign investment in the region.
“We hope that this event is an important first step in building a long-lasting partnership for the Region with our friends in Japan. We are excited to show Mr. Ito and Mr. Inforzato all that our region has to offer and to demonstrate the tremendous interest and support for our community leaders in strengthening a relationship with Japan as we prepare for our visit this fall,” said Quyle. “Moreover, this is part of a much bigger initiative to diversify the economic makeup for Radius by increasing the amount of foreign direct investment opportunities for our communities.”
During the event, guests heard from Mr. Ito and Mr. Inforzato on best practices for interacting with Japanese firms, and insights on what Japanese investors are looking for when searching for a location to expand. For many in attendance, this was the first occasion for Radius member’s to hear directly from the Consulate-General of Japan and JETRO, which are often on the front lines in facilitating new contacts with Japan for economic development opportunities.
“The Radius-Japan Dialogue is a singular event, allowing us to speak about Japan’s investment and trade directly to the region’s leadership,” said Inforzato.
Indiana has the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita in the U.S. and is the only state that is home to three Japanese automotive assembly plants. While the Radius region has not experienced the same level of Japanese
investment as some other areas of the state, the activity in the area is beginning to take an upturn.
On March 20, Mr. Ito and Mr. Inforzato will attend the ribbon cutting of M & C Tech in Washington. M & C Tech invested $4.6 million into a 40,000 square foot building and added 35 new jobs with more come to the Radius region. This is the first investment by a Japanese company in the Radius region, and comes on the heels of the construction of I-69.
“In Japan, a spotlight shines on Indiana. Over 290 Japanese business facilities provide 65,000 jobs for people across the state. They know that Indiana employees are highly skilled with a strong work ethic,” said Consul-General Ito. “The new joint venture, M & C Tech Indiana Corporation, is the first Japanese company in the Radius Indiana area. We appreciate the people of Washington for welcoming it so warmly, and we believe that it should contribute to the local economy. We are reaching out to do more two-way direct investment and trade.”
After presentations, a question-and-answer segment was held to give audience members a chance to have their personal questions heard by experts on foreign investment. Radius Indiana concluded the evening with a reception and dinner in honor of Consul-General Ito and Mr. Inforzato.
“We want to thank both the Consulate-General of Japan and JETRO for taking time to come visit our region, and look forward to building a strong foundation that we can build upon for future endeavors between our organizations,” said Quyle.
ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.