Indiana has inked a sister state agreement with the Indian state of Karnataka in hopes of teeing off more cultural and economic exchange.
Several companies in Karnataka’s tech hub capital, Bangalore, are in the midst of big expansions to the Hoosier state. Those include Infosys, Wipro and, most recently, Axiscades.
“The relationship really grew through our partnership with Infosys and blossomed from there,” said Indiana Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman Abby Gras in an email.
She says Karnataka’s life sciences and tech sectors mirror Indiana’s. And the agreement between the two states cites “the goals of increasing economic, educational and cultural ties.”
“There are many similarities between our economies,” Gras says, “and we are hopeful that will lead to new partnerships and initiatives.”
Indiana also has sister state agreements with a province in China and a prefecture in Japan, she says. Those two countries are top trading partners of the Hoosier State.
Adam Kaplan, vice president of the nonprofit Sister Cities International, says these agreements are often set up around business expansions.
“In a way, it’s a signal that you’re in this for the long haul and you aren’t interested just in their business, but interested in cultivating a relationship with their community,” he says.
Kaplan says this partnership ought to get more people traveling between Indiana and Karnataka, developing business ties and educational programs – all of which could facilitate growth in the burgeoning India-Indiana economy.
“You start to establish sort of an infrastructure of relationships that makes it much easier to do business and build on existing relationships,” Kaplan says.
Several Indiana cities also have sister cities in Japan and China, as well as in the U.K., Germany, Latin America and elsewhere.