Pennsylvania governor prepares for European trade mission

March 12, 2012

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will head to Europe on a six-day trade mission that will help to promote the state's business overseas and attract foreign investment, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

According to the newspaper, the governor will head to Lyon and Paris, France, and then on to Stuggard and Dusseldorf, Germany. Corbett and a small team of Pennsylvania government and business officials will tour several sites in each area and meet with industry leaders in those places to secure investments for companies within the state.

These two countries together represent Pennsylvania's fourth-largest export market, with 60,000 residents in the state working for companies who are based in Germany and France.

"The purpose of the trade mission is very simple," Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley told the Inquirer. "It's jobs for Pennsylvanians."

This move is something that could help to promote the state's manufacturing sector and a variety of other industries, as investments from foreign companies and a change in business strategy to produce more goods in Pennsylvania could arise from the trade mission.

Bob Schena, an executive from a company that makes wireless communication equipment, noted that he is going on the trip for networking purposes and that Corbett's presence increases the clout that local business leaders will have over there.

"It opens doors," Schena told the Inquirer. "We send people around the world all the time, but when you are part of this type of official mission, with the governor leading it, the success rate is much higher."

NBC 10 Philadelphia reported that the state's mission could be successful due to the fact that Pennsylvania is touted as the 18th largest economy in the world and home to roughly 6,000 foreign-owned companies.

WFMZ-TV 69 Allentown reported that the trip is being funded by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, an organization for which Corbett is the co-chairman.

The governor recently toured a manufacturing site in the state, and he learned that the company had to cut nearly half of its workforce during the depths of the 2008 recession. He noted that this business represented a good example of the kind of organization that should be supported by the state government, as it could help to bring real job growth to the region, according to the news source.