Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Legislators Meet with German Parlimentarian

Representatives Jeff Duncan and Mike Pitts met today with Thomas Silberhorn, Member of German Bundestag.

Topics ranged from Mr. Silberhorn's life outside of politics (he is an attorney) to European Union Trade, Energy and the possibility of Turkey entering the EU. It was a tremendous experience and I was surprised at the amount of time Mr. Silberhorn spent talking with the Trade Mission group from South Carolina. He has previously been to the US and to Greenville with BMW. His District is the Bamburg area of Bavaria and is close to the BMW operation.

In addition to meeting with the Member, the group was able to tour the Budestag and discuss the differences of Parlimentary procedures in the US vs. Germany. For instance - on a recorded vote, the members must exit the chamber and then return via doors marked "Ja" for yes or "Nien" for no. Each member is counted as they enter the room by the appropriate door. There is also a door for abstaining from the vote. A physical act to record the vote was most interesting.

We will attend the Hannover Trade Fair on Wednesday/Thursday (Europe's largest Trade Fair) where we will meet with industry of different sorts to discuss South Carolina's business climate.