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LVEDC Hosts Visiting Delegation of German Businesses

By Colin McEvoy on April 25, 2016

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham speaking to the German delegation at the Foundry Room of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham speaking to the German delegation at the Foundry Room of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) last week hosted a delegation of visiting German businesses, which included companies from such industries as pharmaceutics, automation and robotics, and power systems security and electrical networks.

The visit, part of a German business mission to Pennsylvania organized by German-American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia (GACC), allowed LVEDC to inform the companies about the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley, as well as provide networking opportunities for stakeholders from throughout the region.

“The delegates were extremely impressed with the Lehigh Valley,” said Lydia Sarson, executive director of the GACC. “We love the Lehigh Valley and we love being able to showcase it when delegates are visiting and show them all the opportunities available here. You guys are doing some really remarkable stuff that the whole world should be able to see.”

Seven German companies attended the reception LVEDC hosted on April 20 at the Foundry Room of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, where LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham provided an overview of the Lehigh Valley economy and discussed the increasing trend of businesses based in other countries investing in region.

“We were very pleased to meet with these companies and continue spreading the word about the Lehigh Valley to the international community,” Cunningham said. “Foreign direct investment has become increasingly important for the regional economy in the last few years, and I think many of the German business representatives we met with found several commonalities between their industrial heritage and our own.”

Last year, eight of the Lehigh Valley’s 19 major business attraction and/or expansion projects – 42 percent — were international companies. This included German companies like Malmadie, a semiconductor and electronic component manufacturer that established an office in Upper Macungie Township.

Germany has the largest presence among all the overseas companies located in the Lehigh Valley. The region is home to more than a dozen German companies, including B. Braun, Bosch Rexroth, BMW, Porsche, Osram Sylvania, Hydac, Aesculap, and more.

LVEDC has been active in international recruitment, and last year translated the region’s economic asset information and marketing materials into eight languages, including German. These materials, which were distributed to the German delegation, were previously sent to all of Pennsylvania’s Office of International Development’s 26 field offices around the globe.

The April 20 event marked the first time several of the company representatives had visited the Lehigh Valley. Among the businesses that participated were:

In addition to Cunningham’s presentation, the German company representatives had the opportunity to network with a variety of Lehigh Valley stakeholders. IBAR-Systemtechnik was looking for customers in the fields of mechanical engineering and plant construction, while Gridlab was seeking contacts for potential distribution partners and customers in the United States.

Members of the delegation also visited several other locations in Bethlehem and Allentown throughout the day, including a visit to the B. Braun corporate headquarters in Bethlehem.

This is not the first time LVEDC has hosted a delegation of visitors from overseas. Last year, the organization welcomed a contingent of visiting international journalists who cover the plastics manufacturing industry and shared news about the Lehigh Valley’s significant growth in that subsector.

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