The president of a new nonprofit that focuses on business relationships between Indiana and Germany says the current global supply chain disruption illustrates the need for the organization. Colin Renk says the Indiana-Germany Business Council will serve as a conduit, helping Indiana companies do business abroad and assisting German companies to do the same in the Hoosier State. The IGBC says between supply chain challenges and tariffs, international business has undergone a “seismic shift.”
“Over the past three or four years, there’s been a lot of international turmoil, but looking at things optimistically, now’s a really great time to be reengaged when it comes to international business,” said Renk in an interview with Inside INdiana Business.
The IGBC says Germany represents the second largest source of foreign direct investment into Indiana. More than 125 German-based companies do business in Indiana and Indiana exports to the European country topped $1.6 billion in 2020.
“The state of Indiana has had such a great partnership, economically and business-focused with Germany over the years, but now is really the time to usher in a new era of that relationship,” said Renk.
Renk says he talked to one German company last month whose shipping costs to the U.S. have quadrupled during the pandemic. He says the increase is causing some foreign companies to explore the idea of opening-up shop in the U.S.
“Not only are our tariffs and duties affecting some of these businesses, but just the overall cost coming up so much. It’s really forcing European based companies to localize their efforts, especially if they do want to tap into the U.S. market,” said Renk. “It’s making a lot of sense for, especially Germany based manufacturers, to look at opportunities to move some of that manufacturing into the US market to help lower some of their costs.”
The IGBC plans to host conferences and networking events for German delegations that visit the U.S. seeking trade and business partnerships.
“Through this new organization, we will be able to offer German and Hoosier companies an objective partner as they seek bilateral opportunities and future growth,” said Renk.
Similar organizations already exist for Asian partners, including the America China Society of Indiana and the Japan-America Society of Indiana.
The IGBC will be hosting a launch event with Governor Eric Holcomb and German Vice Consul General Christopher Fuchs on April 6th at the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis.
Click here to learn more about the membership-based organization.