Indiana and Slovakia Form Partnership to Strengthen Economic, Defense Ties

Indiana and Slovakia Form Partnership to Strengthen Economic, Defense Ties

Governor Eric. J. Holcomb and the Indiana delegation to Europe joined Slovak government officials today to discuss opportunities to deepen defense relations and encourage economic cooperation between Indiana and Slovakia.

“Indiana and Slovakia have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship, focused primarily on defense and education,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This trip is an opportunity to explore additional opportunities for collaboration and the MOU we signed gives us our ‘to do list’ as we take the Indiana-Slovakia partnership to the next level.”

In a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Gov. Holcomb and Slovak Minister of Economy Peter Žiga, Indiana and Slovakia will build on its established defense and academic relationships while advancing collaborative efforts toward two-way investment, trade and workforce development. The two will also share best practices and identify opportunities to partner in advanced manufacturing, defense, automotive, energy, agriculture technology, information technology and cybersecurity.

Since 1994, the Indiana National Guard has been the partner unit to the Slovak Armed Forces under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP). Through SPP, Indiana and Slovakia have established a bilateral defense relationship based on mutual interests and understanding, conducting multiple military partnership exercises every year. Gov. Holcomb, Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger, Indiana Adjutant General Courtney Carr and the delegation met with Slovak Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš to build on this partnership and seek new commercial opportunities for military and defense-related investment.

“The strategic partnership between Slovakia and the Indiana National Guard strengthens our interoperability and military capability,” said Major General Carr. “I appreciate Governor Holcomb’s leadership in leveraging this great 24-year relationship to facilitate further economic cooperation between Indiana and Slovakia.”

Under the MOU, Indiana will also boost its academic cooperation with Slovakia by enhancing exchange programs and existing initiatives that support educational collaboration. Currently, Indiana University and Purdue University have connections to Slovak academic institutions.

In Bratislava, the delegation met with President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Ivan Korčok, Economy Minister Peter Žiga, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Digitalization Richard Raši, and U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling to discuss ways to increase economic collaboration between Indiana and Slovakia. The state also hosted a business roundtable with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) to share Indiana’s story as an international business destination with Slovak businesses interested in investing in the U.S.

Indiana is home to more than 450 European business establishments that provide approximately 113,900 jobs for Hoosiers across the state. Nearly 60 percent of Indiana’s more than 190,900 jobs supported by foreign direct investment can be attributed to European firms. Three Indiana companies, IMMI, Eli Lilly and Zimmer Biomet, have operations in Slovakia.

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