Going Global? This Day is For You

Does anyone today truly doubt that we live in a global society? More and more businesses not only survive, but thrive, due to their international connections.

To help even more organizations take advantage, the World Trade Club of Indiana is presenting World Trade Day on April 17. The 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. event at the Ritz Charles in Carmel features a number of educational breakout sessions, an exhibit hall, networking opportunities and more.

Among the topics:

  • Making sense of China
  • Hiring for the global age
  • Best practices in global banking
  • The Export-import Bank, termed the best kept government secret since Area 51

Bill Adams, senior international economist for PNC Bank, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will offer welcoming remarks and Carmel Mayor James Brainard will discuss "Roundabout Carmel — A Look at Local Gowth and Global Expansion."

Full details and registration available online.

Living in a Global World: International Center Expands Reach

Imagine the lyrics to Madonna’s “Material World,” and insert “global” where the word “material” usually goes. Truly, “we are living in a global world” – and Indiana is a global partner.

The International Center, formerly known as the International Center of Indianapolis, knows all about that fact and revealed its new brand and another major development during its annual meeting this morning at the Conrad Hotel downtown.

The center, a non-profit organization established in 1973, is now working to serve as a “catalyst for a global Indiana,” essentially extending its reach statewide. Simple and sophisticated, the new logo focuses on the letters INTL CTR. With the name and design changes also comes a new website: internationalcenter.org.

During the meeting, International Center Board Chair Rajan Gajaria, from Dow AgroSciences, spoke to the crowd about how the brand gives the center some new areas to focus on – aggressive growth, both geographically and in types of segments catered to; outreach and education of what the center does; and the ability to serve as a catalyst for Indiana’s growth in the global scheme.

Hoosier companies and individuals across the state, not just in Indianapolis, have worked to become global partners, noted Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business (who served as emcee for the event), calling it part of the “evolution of Indiana’s ties to the world markets.”

While the center’s brand is now focused statewide, CEO Diane Thomas also strengthened the partnership with the City of Indianapolis by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – essentially establishing a formal relationship – with Mayor Greg Ballard. While the partnership between the center and the city has grown over the past three years, the agreement reinforces that bond.

“This agreement will strengthen our ability to carry out our shared objectives of increasing the visibility of Indianapolis as an attractive destination for international development, international diplomacy and international exchange and making Indianapolis more competitive in the world marketplace,” stated Ballard in a press release. 

The International Center will assist the city with support services in three areas: protocol and visiting delegation services, the Sister City program and through the Consular Corps service.

“This is so important for the future of Indianapolis,” Ballard told the audience.

For more information on the International Center, visit the web site. To view the MOU, visit http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Mayor/pressroom/2011/Pages/January-march2011.aspx.

Drowning in Overseas Tax Proposals

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is asking federal legislators to oppose the recent proposal to increase taxes on overseas profits. U.S. companies, including many in Indiana, will find it increasingly difficult to compete with their foreign competitors should these tax code changes be enacted.

American companies already pay the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world. During these difficult economic times, we believe economic development should be promoted to give our companies the tools they need to succeed in the global marketplace instead of burdening them with higher taxes. These tax proposals would add $200 billion to the tax burden of affected companies, putting them at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign counterparts who don’t have to pay or can defer taxes in their home countries.

Overseas investments by domestic companies strengthen our overall economy.  By adding overseas operations, U.S. companies create more opportunities for American companies to grow back home.  For every worker employed overseas by U.S. companies, 2.3 workers are employed in the U.S.

Bennett to Superintendents: It’s Time for Full 180 Day School Year in Indiana

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett sent a memo to Indiana’s public school superintendents today outlining the need for a full 180 day school year. He states his case as follows:

I believe strongly that schools must do everything in their power to ensure students receive the full 180 days of education as prescribed by state law. Please be advised that beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, it will no longer be the practice of the Department of Education to adopt emergency policies allowing schools to apply for waivers of the financial penalty for canceled instructional days.

As President Obama said last week in unveiling his education agenda, "the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom."

We expect schools to find ways to ensure the 180 day standard is met, despite cancellation of school days due to severe weather or other emergencies. A full instructional day is defined in law as five hours of instruction at the elementary level and six hours of instruction at the secondary level. Lunch and recess are not counted as instructional time…

The Department of Education stands ready to assist school corporations in planning their calendars and seeking creative solutions to guarantee students receive the 180 days of classroom instruction prescribed in state statute.

Our own Derek Redelman lauded the decision in an Indy Star article:

Derek Redelman, vice president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, applauded Bennett’s decision, saying it was a step closer to ensuring Indiana children are in class long enough to compete in a global economy.

The state originally required 180 days of class as a compromise, with the understanding that it would work toward a much longer school year, he said.

"We are seeing that our competitors around the world are getting kids into school longer," Redelman said. "I think it’s pretty clear that you can cover more material if you’re in school more."