Minnesota plans German trade office

Minnesota plans to open a European trade office.

Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday announced the office will be in Dusseldorf-Cologne, Germany, to promote Minnesota exports and foreign investments in the state.

The office is the first of three that will open; locations of the other two have not been announced. Minnesota already has one in Shanghai, China.

“As Minnesota continues to compete on a global scale, increasing exports and attracting new foreign direct investment are top priorities in our roadmap to long-term economic success,” said Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “Germany’s central location in Europe and its strong economy make this region an excellent choice for one of our new trade offices.”

Dayton took time during a trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway to make the announcement. He is accompanied by representatives of 35 Minnesota companies and education institutions.

Several European countries are main Minnesota trade partners.

Germany was Minnesota’s fifth-largest trade partner in 2012 with $728 million in sales, with Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Sweden and Finland also on the state’s top 25 export list.

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