November 4, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

States of Bremen, Germany and Alabama Sign Memorandum of Understanding For Economic Development

Tuscaloosa – The States of Alabama, U.S.A. and Bremen, Germany presented and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) today to formalize their common objectives of promoting investment, trade, and continued economic development between them.

 

The signing took place at the North River Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa, during a reception in honor of Senator Martin Guenthner, Minister of Economics, Labor and Ports of the Federal State of Bremen and an accompanying delegation consisting of Members of the Board of BLG Logistics Group and Bremen Invest, the economic development agency for the State of Bremen. Local and state-level elected officials and private sector representatives were in attendance.

 

“We have 68 German companies who have invested more than $5.8 billion in Alabama. Since 2000, these companies have been responsible for 10,305 announced jobs in our state,” said Alabama Development Office Director Greg Canfield. “Some of our German neighbors are among the most respected companies in the world. We value their presence in Alabama and want to work diligently to increase German investment in our state as well as trade opportunities. We also have forged many new friendships with our German partners and are confident that this MOU will help us form many more in the future.”

 

The MOU recognizes the many shared industries, including aerospace, automotive and logistics, between the two states, and outlines joint efforts to recruit and promote new and existing companies.

 

Senator Guenthner said, “This Reception and this MOU are the reasons why we opened the Bremen Invest office in America. We want to build strong, sustainable relationships with our trans-Atlantic friends. America, and especially Alabama, are our natural partners in economic development.”

 

Both Bremen and Alabama are home to Mercedes-Benz. The C-Class, currently made in Bremen, will soon share production with the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Another Bremen-based company, with North American operations in Tuscaloosa is BLG Logistics, Inc. (“BLG”). From just-in-time parts to finished vehicle services, BLG plays a major role in Mercedes’ global production network, and currently employs 95 Alabamians.

 

Other shared companies include:

 

. EADS/Airbus engineering centers (Bremen and Mobile, Alabama)

. ThyssenKrupp Systems Solutions (formally ThyssenKrupp Krause) (Bremen and Huntsville, Alabama).

. Voith Engineering Services, which supplies many Bremen companies, as well asthe Toyota Motor

  Manufacturing Plant in Huntsville, with varying degrees of engineering support.

 

 

Bremen has many similarities with the Southeast United States such as a large motivated, reliable and trainable workforce, low operating costs, lower taxes and comparatively lower costs of living. Mr. Andreas Heyer, CEO of WFB Bremen (locally known as Bremen Invest) stated, “For Alabama and American companies, Germany is an obvious choice because it is one of the most stable and productive economies in the world."

 

Kirk Atkinson, U.S. Director of Bremen Invest said, “With this MOU, we hope to expound upon past recruiting successes between Germany and Alabama by exposing existing industries to new markets in order to create jobs at home. We believe this is the future of international economic development, and we’re eager to work with the ADO, local leadership and multipliers in achieving international success for both Bremen and Alabama companies.”

 

Please visit www.keytogermany.com for more information.

 

 

Contact:

 

Kirk Atkinson, U.S. Director, Bremen Invest

 

WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH

 

Bremen Economic Development

 

Phone: (404) 910-2184

 

Email: kirk.atkinson@wfb-bremen.com

 

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About Bremen Invest

 

Bremen Invest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH, Bremen Economic Development) is the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, developing new domestic and international trade, as well as economic development in the State of Bremen, Germany. Visit www.keytogermany.com for more information.



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