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Business and Community Development Newsroom

Posted on: July 13, 2012

Gov. Brownback, Commerce Secretary George conduct trade mission in Germany

Hamburg, Germany – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George conducted a three day, three city tour of Germany to promote business development and investment in Kansas. While in Germany, Brownback met with representatives from several companies with Kansas interests.

“These face-to-face interactions with some of the key businesses leaders in Germany will have an impact on the daily lives of Kansans,” Brownback said. “I wanted each of these leaders to know the variety of ways that Kansas is aggressively pursuing economic growth. The meetings were productive and will help to continue to foster our international relationships for our mutual benefit.”

The tour of Germany began on July 11 with a visit to Bayer Animal Health in Monheim. Brownback and George met with Dr. Dirk Ehle, CEO of the Bayer Animal Health Division. Bayer Animal Health plays a significant role in the animal health corridor in Kansas. The company’s Kansas facility employs approximately 450 employees at its headquarters in Shawnee, with 720,000 square feet of administrative and production facilities producing a large portion of Bayer Healthcare’s portfolio of veterinary products.

The tour continued in Attendorn with a visit to Viega GmbH, which manufactures heating and plumbing systems. Viega relocated its North American headquarters to Kansas in 2006 and built a large manufacturing and distribution facility in McPherson to consolidate its North American operations.

On July 12, Brownback and George travelled to Hamburg to tour the Airbus A320 and A380 production facility. The Kansas Airbus facility, which recently celebrated 10 years of business in Wichita, played an integral role in the design of the A380 wing. Airbus has committed to doubling its supply chain purchases in the United States and will hold a supplier conference in Wichita on Aug. 6 as a part of that initiative.

Following the tour of Airbus, the delegation met with leaders in the German renewable energy industry.

“The wind power industry, aerospace industry, animal health industry and manufacturing are all key drivers of the Kansas economy,” George said. “I appreciated the opportunity to discuss some of the ways we can find growth opportunities with the leaders of these industries in Germany.”

On July 13, Brownback met with Felix Ferlemann, CEO of Siemens Wind Power to discuss the future of wind energy and the development of wind energy technology. The Siemens production facility in Hutchinson manufactures nacelles for wind turbines. The Kansas facility recently surpassed its target employment of 400 employees and produced its 500th nacelle.

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