Gov. Eric Holcomb is leading a delegation of Hoosier government and business leaders to Brazil and Mexico in an effort to further develop Indiana's agbiosciences and agriculture sectors internationally.

The Republican chief executive said Brazil and Mexico, like Indiana, have robust agbiosciences industries that are advancing global services, products and solutions across agriculture, food production and animal health.

"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.

"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."

The Indiana delegation, including Hoosier agriculture business executives, representatives from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and Janet Holcomb, the state's first lady, is scheduled to leave Indianapolis Friday — heading first to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil.

The focus of Holcomb's first official visit to Brazil will be establishing relationships and identifying partnership opportunities in government, academia and industry to boost the $1.7 billion in annual trade between Indiana and the most populous South American nation that's home to some 215 million people, or about two-thirds the U.S. population.

Likewise, in Mexico City, the Indiana delegation is slated to participate in meetings beginning April 17 with Mexican government and business leaders to explore opportunities to increase trade, advance innovation and grow two-way investment across agriculture, agbiosciences and broader economic opportunities.

According to the IEDC, Indiana currently buys from and sells to Mexico goods and services worth approximately $13.4 billion a year.

Altogether, more than 1,050 foreign-owned business establishments, representing more than 40 countries and territories, are operating in Indiana employing more than 200,000 Hoosiers.

The governor and the Indiana delegation are expected to return to the Hoosier State from Mexico April 19.

This is Holcomb's 22nd foreign trade mission during his eight years as governor. The costs of the trip will be paid using private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.

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