The Herald Bulletin

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April 6, 2013

Mayor to visit Germany for economic development

ANDERSON, Ind. — Mayor Kevin Smith is heading to Hannover, Germany today as part of his continuing efforts to promote foreign investment in Anderson.

City officials will meet with seven firms but won’t say who they are.

Smith, joined by Interim Economic Development Director Greg Winkler, will be attending Hannover Messe, the self-billed largest industrial trade show in the world. Rob Sparks, executive director of the Corporation for Economic Development, will also attend.

In September, Smith traveled to Italy to meet with foreign businesses interested in investing in the U.S.

The goal of this trip, he said, is to advance economic development conversations with top executives of seven companies interested in investing in the Midwest.

“This is a sales trip,” Smith said. “We’re going specifically to meet with a number of companies...There’s no reason to go over there just to attend a trade show and sit in a booth.”

Smith and Winkler said the companies represent the kind high value manufacturing operations Anderson has developed, according to Winkler.

He added that meetings scheduled over five days in Germany are “an outgrowth of conversations we had in Italy. It’s really a follow-up on some of the doors we opened.”

Smith said the trip will cost about $14,000, including airfare, tickets to the industrial show, food and lodging.

It will be paid for out of food and beverage tax funds.

In 2012, the city secured commitments from big companies that are expected to add an estimated 1.100 new local jobs and invest more than $217 million here.

Many of those commitments came from manufacturers such as Green Tire Reclamation, Echo Drive and major Honda plastic components supplier Greenville Technology, Inc., which broke ground on a new 150,000-square-foot facility — a $21.5 million capital investment — in the Flagship Enterprise Center business park in July, promising to bring 325 new jobs to the area. The plant opened in January.

Other commitments came from companies already in Anderson, such as Nestle USA, which promised to expand its current plant with a $166 million investment and the addition of about 100 jobs.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

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