- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb plans to lead a state delegation to the United Kingdom next month as part of an international jobs and economic development trade mission, the Republican announced Monday.

Holcomb, Indiana’s lieutenant governor, will meet with government officials in London as well as potential investors in Indiana’s top sectors, including aerospace, defense and advanced manufacturing. He’s also expected to meet with executives of U.K. companies that operate in Indiana, including Rolls-Royce and GKN Sinter Metals, according to a news release.

“My administration will work hard to foster relationships with job creators and government leaders in the U.K. and new markets worldwide and build upon the strong partnerships from which Hoosiers have already benefited,” said Holcomb, who becomes governor in January.

The trip is scheduled from Dec. 3-7, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state’s economic development agency that receives both state and private funding. The cost is being covered through private donations to the IEDC’s foundation.

Indiana governors have taken similar trips, though critics have raised questions about whether those who donate have outsized influence at the expense of the public good.

Vice president-elect Mike Pence traveled to Japan, Germany, Canada and Israel from 2013 through last year while governor. He maintained the trips were critical to attracting new businesses and jobs at no cost to taxpayers.

Holcomb will travel with Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith and staff members from the IEDC. State officials didn’t include a complete list in the news release. Messages left Monday with the IEDC and Holcomb’s office weren’t immediately returned.

Holcomb’s office said the U.K. is Indiana’s second largest global investor after Japan. Over 60 U.K.-based business facilities employ over 31,000 Indiana residents. Last year, Indiana exported over $1.2 billion worth of Indiana-built products to the U.K.

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