Policy Proposals U.S. and Canada "Increasing Economic Development Opportunities with Indiana" Business round-table with the Honorable Eric Holcomb, Governor of the State of Indiana and members of the Indiana Delegation
Members of the Japan Business Federation's Committee on U.S. Affairs, (Chairpersons Shigeru Hayakawa, Yoshiharu Ueki, and Tsuyoshi Nagano) met with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and the accompanying Indiana delegation on September 9, 2019. An outline of the discussion follows below.
Results from the Governor's First Term
Indiana's economy is firing on all cylinders, and state leaders are working hard every day to dig into the state's untapped potential. Indiana has succeeded in attracting and retaining companies from across the U.S. and around the world by listening to the voices of the business community and implementing policies that meet the needs of companies both large and small. In particular, Indiana's fiscal predictability and sizable rainy day fund has allowed the state to make significant investments in the past three years, and now Indiana has the strongest business climate in the Midwest. Along with a pro-growth business environment, the state's infrastructure has aggressively invested in its railways and port facilities and expanded broadband in rural areas. In addition, developing a skilled workforce is one of the most important challenges that state leaders are tackling head on. Since 2017, state government has been working to ensure its workforce has access to a quality education from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary education, which is why the state has increased its budget for K-12 education by $1 billion.
Business Environment of Indiana
Indiana ranks No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 5 in the U.S. for business. The state also ranks No. 2 in the U.S. for affordability, and No. 3 in the U.S. for business regulatory environment. Additionally, Indiana has the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Indiana is home to operations of Japan-based Toyota, Honda, and Subaru, and more than 500 Tier 1 to Tier 3 suppliers. Known as the Crossroads of America, Indiana is No. 1 for the shortest distance to the median center of the U.S. population, with 80% of the U.S. population being within a day's drive of Indiana. In addition, Indiana is home to three international airports, including the No. 1 airport in North America, where 145 flights depart from and land every day.
Gratitude for Indiana's Relationship with Japan
Operating in 63 of Indiana's 92 counties, approximately 320 Japanese companies have invested in the Hoosier state, supporting more than 65,000 Hoosier jobs. Investment from Japan is the largest per capita of any state in the U.S.
Indiana continues to monitor national discussions on Section 232 tariffs, which are a concern to many Japanese companies, and maintain open lines of communication with Vice President and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence, as well as members of the federal government and Congress regarding challenges facing businesses with U.S. operations.
Indiana remains focused on strengthening its workforce development programs. More and more, Indiana is seeing partnerships form between businesses, government, educational institutions and communities to create and maintain a robust workforce pipeline for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Japan and Indiana are well-matched partners and have a long history of trust and friendship. We must work together to maintain and develop this relationship, in both good and bad times. We look forward to further strengthening the bonds between Japan and Indiana.