INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric J. Holcomb is leading an economic development trip to Qatar the week of July 5, building on his focus of increasing Indiana’s international engagement and cultivating new business relationships in the Middle East to encourage collaborative opportunities to advance innovation, investment and job creation in Indiana.
“(Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad) Chambers and I are energized and excited to build and further strengthen Indiana’s global connections through economic, educational and cultural ties,” Holcomb said. “We look forward to building this relationship through discussions with a wide variety of government officials and industry leaders during our visit and expect this trip to further cultural connections and economic cooperation between our two states in innovative sectors across the board.”
Holcomb and Chambers departed for Qatar on July 5 and will return to Indiana July 9. In Qatar, the delegation, which includes Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) staff members, will build on prior conversations between Indiana and Qatar and help position the state for future economic partnerships as Qatar works to advance its global economy.
According to information from the IEDC:
• Indiana is the fourth-largest goods exporter to Qatar in the Midwest and 12th largest in the U.S.
• In 2020, Indiana exported $43.4 million worth of goods to Qatar while importing $76,637 worth of goods from Qatar.
• Indiana’s top exports to Qatar are chemicals, electrical equipment and appliance components, and transportation equipment.
• Indiana’s top imports from Qatar are goods returned and reimported, forestry products not elsewhere specified or indicated, and fabricated metal products.
Qatar has a population of 2.8 million, compared to Indiana’s 6.7 million. More than half of Qatar’s annual revenue comes from the crude oil and gas industry and its leaders are looking to diversify its economy, according to the IEDC. It’s looking at manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.
It currently has no investment in Indiana.
Holcomb named Chambers to the post in June, which Holcomb said Chambers would begin July 6.
Indiana and Qatar share a strong trade relationship, with Indiana being the 12th largest exporter to Qatar in the U.S. Qatar has placed an increased focus on several strategic priorities that align closely with Indiana, including infrastructure, education and sports. In addition to large-scale sporting events, Indiana is home to a thriving sports economy and will use connections made on the Qatar trip to explore possible collaborations and partnerships.
In Qatar, Holcomb and Chambers will meet with government officials and global business leaders in Doha, Qatar’s capital, to promote Indiana as a top destination for innovation, investment and jobs, and to discuss opportunities to encourage future economic cooperation. On July 7 and 8, the delegation was to meet with Qatari leadership, U.S. government officials at the U.S. Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce Qatar Board of Governors, and Qatari business prospects. Holcomb and the delegation will also tour the sites of the 2022 World Cup and visit with U.S. and Hoosier troops serving at the Al Udeid Air Base.
Indiana is home to more than 1,050 foreign-owned business establishments that support more than 215,800 Hoosier jobs across the state, with foreign direct investment to the state increasing by 300% from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 36 foreign-owned businesses committed to invest $1.85 billion to locate or grow in Indiana and create up to 5,228 new jobs over the next several years.
This marks Holcomb’s ninth international economic development trip and first trip to Qatar and is the first trip for Chambers as secretary. The costs of the state delegations are being paid through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.