Eight German companies to visit Tampa Bay this summer
April 23, 2013
Mark Holan | Tampa Bay Business Journal
Eight German companies will visit Tampa Bay in the next two months to explore opening sales or distribution offices in the near term and manufacturing facilities in the long term.
Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development President and CEO Rick Homans said the companies are involved in aerospace, pharmaceutical equipment cleaning and water filtration. He would not name the firms.
Homans said the corporate site selection visits are a direct result of the EDC’s recruiting trip to Germany and Switzerland, April 12 through April 19. EDC Chairman David Pizzo, who is West Florida market president for Florida Blue, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano joined Homans on the overseas trip and at a Monday press conference.
Lopano said he met with officials from Lufthansa. While making “a compelling business case” for direct flights to Tampa, he said such a commitment from the German airline could be “years away from happening.”
In addition to trying to recruit new business and other foreign investment to Tampa Bay, the EDC delegation also met with representatives of companies that already have a presence here. These included Ruag Ammotec USA Inc., UBS Financial Services Inc., Zeppelin Systems USA and Key Trade. Homans said about 90 percent of the meetings were conducted in English, allowing for deeper relationship building. Germans are very familiar with Tampa Bay, ranking third behind Canada and Britain in number of visitors. Homans and the others said the trip helped boost Tampa Bay as a business destination against such competitors as Miami, Orlando and Atlanta.
The EDC is planning a fall trip to Brazil.