"To develop key relationships:" Business leaders invited to join Gov. Walker in Western Europe trade mission

MADISON (WITI) -- Wisconsin businesses interested in expanding their exporting efforts in Western Europe are invited to join Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for a trade mission to Germany, France and Spain in April.

“This trade mission provides an outstanding opportunity for companies to conduct in-person business meetings with potential business partners and to develop key relationships that can lead to additional overseas sales,” Governor Walker said.  “Last year, Wisconsin companies exported a record number of products overseas as more businesses recognized the importance of being part of the global economy.  Trips such as this are one way that state businesses can build upon that success.”

During the trade mission, which runs April 12th-20th, each participating company will have scheduled individualized meetings with companies whose needs or capabilities align with their company’s exporting objectives—whether the meetings be with end users, distributors or other market intermediaries.  In addition, Governor Walker will participate in events to promote Wisconsin business partnerships.

The Wisconsin delegation will travel to Hannover, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; and Montpellier, France—all cities whose surrounding regions are economic bright spots within Europe.

The trip will kick off with a visit to the Hannover Messe Trade Show, which focuses on industrial automation and machinery and draws companies from around the world.  After three days in Germany, the group will move on to Bilbao, Spain.  This area has the highest per-capita income of any Spanish region and has long been a center of manufacturing, and business and government leaders are eager for trade relationships with U.S. companies.

The final segment of the program takes place in Montpellier, France, a city in located in an area that has focused on building a critical mass of companies in the water and clean technology sectors.  This region is also highly active in the food and beverage and aerospace sectors.

All three countries have stable, highly developed economies with a high standard of living and the purchasing power that accompanies that.  Thus, these mature markets are ripe for the advanced technologies being developed in Wisconsin.  Companies need not have extensive prior experience with exporting to participate.

Governor Walker and the WEDC team will focus on attracting foreign direct investment while in Western Europe.  Separate from the program for Wisconsin companies, the governor and business attraction specialists will be meeting with European business executives about establishing new operations in Wisconsin and providing additional capital to existing businesses to expand their Wisconsin operations and create jobs.

“We began implementing a new foreign direct investment attraction strategy with our trip to London, and this trip to Europe continues that initiative, as well as maintains a focus on increasing exports in Wisconsin,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of International Business Development.  “Robust exporting and attracting foreign investment are both essential parts of our strategy to more fully integrate Wisconsin into the global economy.”

Companies in the following sectors are especially encouraged to join Governor Walker on the Western Europe trade mission:

    The registration deadline for the trip is Friday, March 13. To learn more or to register, please visit InWisconsin.com/WesternEurope2015.