Germany is Utah’s 12th largest trading partner; roughly $283 million worth of Utah products were shipped to Germany in 2011 Over the past decade the economic ties between Utah and Germany have increased tremendously. Utah exports to Germany have risen by over 300% from 2001 to 2011, the bulk of these exports are made up of medical devices, aeronautical equipment and electronics. In addition to Utah’s exports to Germany, over one-hundred thousand German tourists visit Utah every year, contributing significantly to the Utah service economy.
Utah is celebrating the 12-year anniversary of the signing of a trade cooperation agreement with Saarland, one of Germany’s sixteen states, located in the southwest area of Germany. This agreement established a sister-city relationship between Saarland and Utah. Saarland has had an established relationship with Utah for quite some time; by the time the agreement was signed Saarland had already been a member of the Utah Information Technology Association for six years.
Saarland is the smallest state in Germany in both area and population, with just over one million residents, but their economic impact is vital to both Germany and to Utah. Utah shares many of its economic clusters with Saarland including life sciences, nano-technology, information systems and renewable energy. The life sciences cluster in Saarland is comprised of over 500 successful companies with 13 research facilities, employing nearly 9,000 people. Franz Kolb, regional director for Europe at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, recently returned from a trip to Saarland accompanied by several Utah companies, said “Over the past 10 years, many Utah companies were able to use Saarland as a launch pad into the European market.”
Relations with Saarland and with Germany as a whole continue to improve; the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the World Trade Center Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the German ambassador to the United States next week. With Utah exports set to grow by double digits again this year, Germany will continue to be one of Utah’s most important trade partners.
For more information on doing business in Germany and how to connect with gwSarr, the Saarland economic promotion corporation, please contact Franz Kolb at firstname.lastname@example.org.