Friday, May 2, 2008

South Carolina Trade Mission

With the strength of the Euro versus the US Dollar, it is a good time for South Carolina to be courting German (and other European) businesses to our state. While on a a recent trade mission to Germany and France, Representative Mike Pitts and myself had the opportunity to meet one on one with German companies. A meeting and plant tour with Koerber in Berlin (Koerber recently announced locating a manufacturing business in Laurens, SC), we were glad to hear of a planned expansion of operations in Laurens - even though the operation is just getting underway!

I want to take the opportunity to say what a great job that South Carolina's Department of Commerce European Office is doing. From what I have seen, the Director - Ian Forbes-Jones and the Assistant Director - John Stillwell - are well respected and are doing a first class job for the state.

We attended the Hannover Trade Fair in Hannover, Germany - WOW! It is the largest in Europe and is truly hard to explain how large it is. The University of South Carolina's Hydrogen Fuel Cell research was featured and was a big part of the fuel-cell exposition portion of the energy section. Although it was USC, I was still proud to see South Carolina so well represented.

More about the energy issues I witnessed in later posts.