Governor plans trade mission to Europe

News-Asia

MHTA – Governor Mark Dayton announced that he will lead representatives from Minnesota businesses and organizations on a trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway on June 12-21, 2013.

The governor and trade mission delegates will travel to important business centers in Berlin, Dusseldorf/Cologne, Oslo and Stockholm, meeting with business leaders and government officials and participating in networking events and other activities.

The goal of the trade mission is to increase state exports, attract foreign direct investment opportunities, and connect with potential customers and longstanding partners in Europe and Scandinavia.

Minnesota exports are a growing part of the state’s economic development strategy, reaching a record $20.3 billion in 2011. Minnesota exports have set quarterly records for eight straight quarters and are expected to post another annual record when final figures are tabulated for 2012.

Medical devices, machinery, electrical machinery and transportation equipment are among the Minnesota industries with strong export markets in Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Companies in those countries are also looking for foreign direct investment opportunities in Minnesota, especially in the agricultural manufacturing, renewable energy and medtech sectors. Geringhoff, a Germany-based farm implement manufacturer, is investing $20 million in its first North American factory in St. Cloud. Germany’s $1.4 billion in total foreign direct investment in Minnesota ranks first among European countries.

“Germany, Sweden and Norway are vital trade partners that account for nearly $1 billion in annual exports from Minnesota and have recently created new jobs in Minnesota through foreign direct investment,” said Katie Clark Sieben, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “This trade mission will identify new customers interested in buying Minnesota’s high-quality products and attract foreign investors to our medical device, bioscience and renewable energy industries.”

Germany is the state’s fifth-largest export market, accounting for $667 million in sales in the first 11 months of last year. Major Minnesota exports to Germany during that period were machinery ($188.8 million), optics, medical instruments ($188.2 million) and electrical machinery ($108 million).

Sweden is a significant export market for Minnesota, with $131.5 million in sales through November of last year. The top Minnesota-made exports to Sweden were vehicles/not railway ($62.1 million), optics, medical instruments ($19.9 million) and electrical machinery ($18.3 million).

Exports to Norway through November were $41 million, led by optics, medical instruments ($10.7 million), electrical machinery ($9.8 million) and vehicles/not railway ($7.8 million).

The estimated cost of the trade mission is $7,500 per person, including air travel and ground transportation, accommodations and events. Reduced trade mission fees may be available to qualified small businesses under the STEP Export Assistance Program. Details are at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com/step.

The Minnesota Trade Office will accept applications for the trade mission from all Minnesota-based companies and organizations with activities or business interests in Europe. Applications materials are available on the DEED website at PositivelyMinnesota.com.The application deadline is March 5.

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