Governor, WEDC officials part of 22-member delegation headed to Germany, France, Spain

Madison – Governor Scott Walker is leading a weeklong trade mission to Germany, France, and Spain focusing on increasing the state’s exports in those countries and encouraging European companies to invest in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin hit an all-time record for exporting in 2014, and one aspect of our strategy to continue that growth is to provide state companies with opportunities to establish and develop new partnerships overseas,” Governor Walker said. “At the same time, we will conduct one-on-one meetings with executives of companies in all three countries about the benefits of establishing or expanding their operations in Wisconsin.”

Governor Walker will lead a 22-member delegation that includes leaders from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), executives from seven Wisconsin companies, Jim Paetsch, Vice President of Corporate Expansion & Attraction for the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization, and Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of The Water Council.

During the trade mission, the company executives will engage in targeted, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners coordinated by WEDC’s authorized trade representative network in those countries.  Governor Walker and WEDC leaders will participate in meetings with European companies to discuss expansion or investment opportunities in Wisconsin.

In addition to those meetings, other highlights of the trade mission include:

  • Governor Walker and WEDC leaders will attend the Hannover Messe trade show in Hannover, Germany, the world’s largest industrial fair. Governor Walker will deliver a speech at the show on free trade opportunities between the United States and the European Union. The Governor will also meet with the Hannover Messe Board of Directors about business opportunities in Wisconsin.
  • Governor Walker, WEDC leaders, and Richard Moss of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will meet with representatives of DZNE, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, to discuss possible joint collaboration efforts.
  • Governor Walker and the delegation will meet with business and government leaders from the German state of Hessen, which is Wisconsin’s “Sister State.”  From the meeting, the delegation will build on the existing cultural relationship founded in 1976 and encourage business development efforts between the two states.
  • Governor Walker will meet with Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, to discuss opportunities for economic development collaboration.
  • Governor Walker and WEDC leaders will take part in a business roundtable discussion in Paris hosted by the French-American Foundation, an organization made up of business and government leaders from both countries.
  • In Spain, Governor Walker will meet with Arantza Tapia, the Minister of Economic Development and Competitiveness for Basque Country, to discuss the parallels between Wisconsin and the Basque region’s industries and explore the opportunities to further economic development.
  • Governor Walker will kick off a “Doing Business in the U.S.” roundtable in Spain where more than 20 Spanish companies will learn about opportunities to expand their businesses in Wisconsin and the benefits of investing in Wisconsin.
  • Also in Spain, the Wisconsin delegation will take part in a series of industry cluster meetings in areas such as water technology, aerospace/aviation, and clean technology sector.