Supervisors Build Relationships with German Companies
Megan Kuhn –
business and economic development is based on relationships,” said Tolle, a
Berthold Gall, FrankfurtRheinMain’s
chairman, invited Tolle and the supervisors in early November to a region west
Waters said other similarities between the counties include a larger population in the east and rural areas in the west. Both counties are also home to vineyards and wineries. She said Gall was excited to create a partnership between the two counties, both for economic development and week-long cultural exchanges between high school students.
Gall will visit the
county later this year, and Waters said supervisors may formalize the
partnership after his visit with a resolution. Another trip to
international business began last summer and county representatives have
participated in other relationship-building activities with German-speaking
executives. The department’s international business program is not a German
program, but it started with German-speaking countries because of the program’s
$27,500 budget and Tolle’s background and
connections with companies in
Part of Tolle’s role is to retain pre-existing international businesses and to use those companies in the county’s pitch.
Loudoun is already home to 12 German companies, representing 50 percent of Loudoun’s international businesses that are not airport or auto related, Tolle said.
When the airport and auto industry are included, the county is home to companies from at least 42 different countries, Tolle said. He will present this initial study at this month’s economic development commission meeting. This is the first time the county is pursing international business. Tolle said, and, even defining a foreign company has been a challenge. Tolle said most definitions are based on how much of the company is foreign owned, which can be difficult to determine when dealing with private companies.
To build relationships with some of those existing companies, the department held a breakfast Dec. 1 for international executives from seven companies ranging in size and location across the county.
“It’s easier to
discuss it when you can use the same language and have the same mentality and
culture,” Bauer said during a telephone interview before leaving for a flight