Contact: Jen Fanger
GENEVA (June 6) - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is representing Hoosiers in Europe this week following the 2007 St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. Rokita spent much of last week attending the Symposium, which brought together more than 600 world businesses, elected officials and researchers to focus on the power of natural resources, consumer practices, and the commercial impact of energy regulation.
The Business Services and Securities Divisions of the Secretary of State's Office serve as the point at which law, business and government intersect in Indiana. The Divisions also link 300,000 existing Indiana businesses, the tangible jobs they supply for Hoosiers, and the companies worldwide with resources that can help keep Indiana's economy growing.
Since 2005, the Securities Division and the Business Law Survey Commission, recently chaired by Rokita, have developed and supported legislation to incentivize expansion of out-of-state and international business on Hoosier soil. Attending the Symposium provided Rokita an opportunity to promote Indiana's new state-of-the-art business and securities regulatory practices, to gain a better grasp of the goals of international business entities, and to learn what types of future legislative updates may be needed.
"We have worked in recent years to streamline and modernize our state's corporate and securities laws, and to develop other incentives for insourcing jobs and investment in Indiana," said Rokita. "Our geography, resources, workforce, and leadership certainly allow us to compete in the world's economy, but the rest of the world needs to know that."
During the second phase of the trip, Rokita will take the product of many of the Symposium's sessions into meetings with European corporate executives and government officials. Scheduled meetings include Nestle, Pilatus Aircraft, Unitectra, the Geneva Financial Center, the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, Zimmer Holdings, and the Swiss Bankers Association.
Rokita will also meet with the Geneva Canton Chancellor's office – his Swiss counterpart in election administration – where he will be looking to evaluate firsthand how European election reform initiatives have fared and whether they could be a good fit for Indiana.
"Our state is one of the best in the nation when it comes to creating and implementing new election reforms – like photo ID at the polls, accessibility measures for voters with disabilities, and a leading edge statewide voter registration system. And it is important that we continue exploring new concepts," said Rokita. "Europe is pioneering new election programs as well, and the open exchange of ideas carries strong potential to further improve the process on both sides of the Atlantic."
Throughout the trip, Rokita is serving as a liaison for multiple state agencies by promoting Indiana's biofuel and clean coal initiatives, and by gathering alternative ideas about energy production and consumption from around the globe. Rokita will return to Indianapolis on June 11.
About the St. Gallen Symposium:
The St. Gallen Symposium was established in 1970 to provide an opportunity for businesses and societies around the world to discuss and debate economic challenges. Now in its 37th year, the Symposium has grown to play host to more than 600 international public and private sector organizations. This year, participants will explore the role of natural resources in the global economy 30 years after a major oil crisis, as businesses vie for adequate supplies of energy and governments deal with the issue of regulating resources.