(BEDFORD) - Local leaders developed a foreign investment strategy in 2011.
In February, Yang Guoqiang, consul general of the People's Republic of China in Chicago, visited Bedford. And in June, a local delegation made a trade mission to China. During that trip, the city of Bedford and the City of Fenghua signed an agreement to become a friendship city -- a step along the way to formal sister city status.
In December, a delegation from Fenghua visited Bedford and toured GM Bedford Casting, Architectural Stone Sales, Bedford North Lawrence High School and other sites.
Through an interpreter, Lei Wang, a Ph.D. student at Indiana University, delegation leader Lin Pinghai and Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis say the aim is to forge closer relationships between the communities, perhaps leading to educational, cultural and business exchanges.
In June, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman led a trade mission to China, celebrating Indiana's 25-year relationship with that nation, the world's most populous nation. Hoosiers entered into a landmark sister-state agreement with Zhejiang province when Gov. Robert Orr visited there in 1987. The delegation, including a coalition of local officials left June 11 and return June 17. Gene McCracken, executive director of the LCEGC, emphasized local leaders will continue to support existing industries throughout the county, but was determined to seek foreign investment.
McCracken, Mayor Girgis, Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Medlock, and Mike Kern, a Bedford native and vice president of Gaylor, Inc., comprise the local delegation to join Skillman on the trade mission.
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