Gov. Holcomb to travel to Brazil and Mexico to target global growth in agbioscience innovation, leadership

INDIANAPOLIS—Governor Eric J. Holcomb will lead an international economic development trip to Brazil and Mexico next week to cultivate innovation and growth in the agbioscience and agricultural economies. This marks the Governor’s second international economic development trip of 2024 and his first official visit to Brazil and Mexico.

Governor Eric Holcomb

“Indiana agriculture and agbiosciences continues to be a catalyst for economic and community growth, contributing $58.1 billion annually to the state’s economy,” said Gov. Holcomb. Brazil and Mexico both represent opportunities to collaborate and mutually advance trade, innovation, and investment across the sector, spurring developments in food safety, security, and sustainability that are critical to the global economy of the future.”

Gov. Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb will depart Indianapolis on Friday, April 12, and return on Friday, April 19. They will be joined by representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and officials of the state’s agbiosciences and agriculture sector, which represents the industry, innovation, workforce, and economic development.

Brazil and Mexico, like Indiana, both share robust agbiosciences industries, advancing global services, products, and solutions across agriculture, food production, and animal health. Indiana trade between Brazil and Mexico topped $1.7 billion and $13.4 billion in 2023, respectively, and the state is already home to 14 Brazil-based and 13 Mexico-based business establishments.

In Brazil, Gov. Holcomb, First Lady Holcomb, and the Indiana delegation will travel to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to build relationships and identify partnership opportunities across government, academia, and industry. This year marks the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Brazil, serving as an essential backdrop to continue discussions between Indiana and Brazil.

The governor will meet with representatives of government, including U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Elizabeth Bagley, to discuss avenues to grow Indiana’s engagement with Brazil and with the state of São Paulo, which is the business capital of Brazil, the industrial center of Latin America and boasts the largest and most modern agbioscience system in the country.

The governor will also work to advance industry partnerships, trade, and investment across the biosciences sector, meeting with business prospects and Brazil-based companies with Indiana operations, including São Paulo-based Solinftec. The digital agriculture company announced plans in 2018 to establish its U.S. headquarters in West Lafayette, creating 334 new jobs. The delegation will also pitch Indiana as a global sector leader to entrepreneurs, startups, and industry executives at two business roundtables hosted by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP), the largest Brazilian industry association, and in partnership with Bayer, a global corporation focused on life sciences, health care, and agriculture with operations in Granger, Indiana.

Gov. Holcomb and the delegation will also meet with representatives of Indiana-based companies with operations in Brazil, including Corteva, which moved its headquarters to Indianapolis in 2023, and Elanco, which is growing its Indiana operations with a new state-of-the-art global headquarters and campus on the west side of downtown Indianapolis. The Indiana delegation will also network with Brazilian and international leaders across government, academia, and industry at a Friends of Indiana Reception hosted by Consul General Hodge.

In Brazil, Gov. Holcomb will be joined by Don Lamb, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Mitch Frazier, CEO of AgriNovus Indiana; Dr. Alex Cochran, chief technology officer of DPH Biologicals; Courtney Kingery, CEO of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance; and Dr. Jerry Shively, associate dean for international programs for Purdue University College of Agriculture.

Gov. Holcomb and First Lady Holcomb will depart Brazil for Mexico on Wednesday, April 17. In Mexico City, the governor will meet with government officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Mexican Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro, to explore opportunities to increase trade, advance innovation, and grow two-way investment in agriculture, agbiosciences, and broader economic opportunities.

The delegation will also meet with leadership and members of Mexican agriculture industry stakeholders, including the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AmCham Mexico) and a roundtable focused on meat processing, as well as university partners such as Indiana University’s Gateway Office, to highlight Indiana’s commitment to advancing global engagement and future-focused sectors. The delegation will also tour and meet with leadership from Atarraya, a Mexican company invested in Indiana, which is revolutionizing the ability to grow sustainable shrimp protein.

In Mexico, Gov. Holcomb will be joined by representatives of the state and U.S. agbiosciences and agriculture sector, including Mitch Frazier, CEO of AgriNovus Indiana; Courtney Kingery, CEO of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance; Leonardo Chapula, marketing specialist at the U.S. Soybean Export Council; Doug Newcom, vice president of genetics and technology at the National Swine Registry; and Paul Siems, export sales manager at Weaver Popcorn.

Indiana is home to more than 1,050 foreign-owned business establishments representing more than 40 countries and territories. In 2023, foreign-owned companies committed to investing $20.49 billion to locate or expand operations in Indiana—an 182% increase from 2022 and 71% of the IEDC’s total committed capital investment in 2023—and creating approximately 8,500 new Hoosier jobs.  

This marks Gov. Holcomb’s 22nd international economic development trip as governor and his first official visit to Brazil and Mexico. The cost of the governor’s travel is being paid for through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.