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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indy is playing host to business and government leaders from around the world for a four-day economic conference.

Governor Holcomb told delegates in an opening address the goal of the conference is to translate ideas into action. He says the last few years have demonstrated the global nature of the world’s challenges, from the pandemic to the food supply to refugee crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan. He says the world has met those challenges by recognizing the importance of united action that transcends borders.

Holcomb assured delegates he wasn’t there to deliver a sales pitch for Indiana. But Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers says the event itself is a showcase for the state. He says numerous delegates have said they appreciate and trust the way Indiana does business.

Holcomb says businesses are showing urgency about resuming investments after the pandemic, and says Indiana’s ability to move quickly is a key asset. He says Eli Lilly’s announcement Wednesday of a new complex in Lebanon is a potential template for future development. The state has been buying land in Boone County to create a research and innovation park, within easy reach of Indianapolis and the research and engineering resources at Purdue, connected by I-65. Chambers says the land can become Indiana’s equivalent of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. And Holcomb says Indiana’s undeveloped rural areas create potential destinations for other businesses.

The conference will include two days of working sessions before shifting gears to two days of networking built around 500 Festival events, culminating in the race itself on Sunday.