Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Secretary of Commerce Pat George conducted a three day, three city tour of Germany to promote business development and investment in Kansas. While in Germany, the Governor 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," Governor 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 Wednesday, July 11th with a visit to Bayer Animal Health in Monheim. Governor Brownback and Secretary George met with Dr. Dirk Ehle, CEO of Bayer Animal Health Division. Bayer Animal Health plays a significant role in the animal health corridor in Kansas. Their 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 subsequently built a large manufacturing and distribution facility in McPherson to consolidate its North American operations.
On Thursday, July 12th, Governor Brownback and Secretary George travelled to Hamburg to tour the Airbus A320 and A380 production facility. The Kansas Airbus facility, which recently celebrated ten years of business in Wichita, played an integral role in the design of the A380 wing. Airbus has committed to double its supply chain purchases in the US, and will hold a supplier conference in Wichita on August 6th as a part of that initiative.
Following the tour of Airbus, Governor Brownback and Secretary George 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," Secretary 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 Friday, July 13th, the Governor 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.