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Alabama opens economic development office in Germany

Eddie Burkhalter



Alabama has opened up shop in Germany, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced Monday. 

The Alabama Department of Commerce’s business development office in Stuttgart, Germany, aims to attract German investments in the Yellowhammer state. 

The office opened earlier this month and is being directed by German businessman Christopher Doerr, who is CEO of Innoteque Solutions in Kornwestheim, Germany, according to a press release from Ivey’s office Monday. 

Doerr operated the Aluminum Technology Schmid North America production plant in Auburn from 2005-2012. 

“During these years, I developed a deep knowledge of Alabama’s culture, customs and business advantages,” Doerr said in the release. “I personally experienced the benefits of investing in Alabama, and I can share that with prospective companies, not just theoretical information about a business location in the state.”

“Communities across Alabama have seen real benefits from the state’s economic ties to Europe, thanks to robust levels of two-way trade and significant investment that has created thousands of jobs,” Ivey said in the press release. “Establishing a European business development office to strengthen this relationship and spark even more economic activity just makes sense for Alabama.”

“As we see investment from Europe on the rise, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, forest products and chemical sectors, it has become more apparent to us that having representation on the ground in Europe will help provide new connections, not only with companies within those sectors but also to help us advance our trade opportunities,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. 


Ivey’s office noted Alabama’s economic ties with Germany Europe, which has become the state’s leading source of direct foreign investment, totaling $8.5 billion since 1999, according to Alabama Department of Commerce estimates.


 According to the Alabama Department of Commerce 82 German companies operate in the state.  In 2018 European companies invested nearly $1.5 billion in state projects and added 1,500 jobs, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.

In July the Germany-based auto supplier Gerhardi opened a $41.6 million plant with 235 workers in Montgomery, according to Area Development magazine.





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