Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana delegation joined provincial officials from China’s Zhejiang Province this week to renew the Indiana-Zhejiang sister-state relationship, celebrating the economic, cultural and educational connections shared between the two states. In Hangzhou, the provincial capital city, the delegation also met with Indiana and Chinese businesses with operations in Zhejiang Province, establishing new connections and strengthening partnerships across the region.
“Now in the fourth decade of our sister-state relationship with Zhejiang Province, this visit is the perfect opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to growing together,” said Holcomb. “Our 32-year-old partnership has blossomed into a transpacific friendship that’s fueling business, academic, government and cultural exchanges on both sides of the Pacific. We look forward to what the future brings both our states in the decades ahead.”
Indiana has shared a sister-state relationship with Zhejiang Province since 1987, when the agreement was first signed by former Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr. In 2017, Holcomb joined officials of Zhejiang Province in Indianapolis to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the partnership, and this week, the Governor again affirmed Indiana’s commitment to Zhejiang, renewing the sister-state agreement with Zhejiang Party Secretary Che Jun.
In Hangzhou, the delegation also met with Zhejiang Governor Yuan Jiajun to further emphasize Indiana’s commitment to strengthening the mutually beneficial partnership between Indiana and Zhejiang Province. Since its inception, the Indiana-Zhejiang sister state has increased economic ties and cultural and educational exchanges between Indiana and China, and, last year, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) established a business development office in Hangzhou to further support and strengthen the many opportunities for collaboration.
Indiana and Zhejiang Province already share many business ties, according to the IEDC.
In Hangzhou, Holcomb and the delegation met with leadership of China-based Zhejiang HengFeng Top Leisure and its Indianapolis-based subsidiary, Westfield Outdoors.
HengFeng is one of the largest exporters of outdoor leisure goods, producing more than 10,000 products, such as foldable chairs and beds, tents, fishing tackle and hunting gear, and garden furniture for customers worldwide. The company’s Indiana operation, Westfield Outdoors, was established in 2004 and supports R&D and U.S. sales for the products manufactured in Zhejiang and sold at popular retailers like Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Target, Walmart and Costco.