Gov. Jan Brewer said she met with representatives of 30 technology companies in Munich that have a “keen interest” in Arizona and is hoping that a trade delegation to France and Germany will bear fruit when those companies are ready to expand into the United States.
Speaking to reporters from Munich during a conference call today, Brewer said she hasn’t gotten any commitments yet from the German companies. But those companies are “very impressed” with the tax cuts and incentives Arizona has implemented in the past few years, Brewer said, and she’s confident that the state is making a name for itself in Europe.
“Germany is very interested in solar, and as you are all aware, that is one of my top issues. I believe that we have made some really good contacts moving forward in IT and software development and solar. And who knows what else it will bring,” Brewer said. “The bottom line is it’s important, they are aware that we are making and building a foundation, long term, when these companies are prepared to expand, that Arizona is going to be a place that they’re going to know and they’re going to have contacts and have a relationship with.”
Brewer said she also had a private meeting with Philip Murphy, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, and asked him to extend an invitation for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Arizona when she visits the United States later this year.
The 13-day trade delegation will move from Germany to France on Wednesday. Representatives from the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Office of Tourism also took part in the trip, which is also aimed at increasing French and German tourism to the state.
On Friday, Brewer spoke at an event in Berlin hosted by the Thunderbird School of Global Management that was attended by about 350 business executives. The governor said she spoke about how Arizona dealt with its fiscal crisis over the past several years.
“I was invited to speak and to share what we’ve done in Arizona with regards to its fiscal turnaround, and how our approach of austerity, if you will, really worked. And it really resonated with them, considering the crisis that Europe is in,” she said.
Brewer also had a couple opportunities to reminisce about the end of the Cold War. She said she attended a ceremony hosted by the American Academy in Berlin where former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz, who served President George H.W. Bush during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, received the Henry A. Kissinger Prize.
She also stopped by the remnants of the Berlin Wall on the way to a meeting on Monday, signing her name on the wall, along with the word, “freedom.”
“To stand there and realize the checkpoints and the history, it was amazing. It really makes you appreciate what America is all about,” Brewer said.