35 Local Leaders Join Dayton On European Trade Mission

The delegation is tasked with exploring new trade opportunities, gathering market insights, acquiring business contacts for potential partnerships, and working to attract investment to Minnesota.

Governor Mark Dayton and 35 business executives, higher education leaders, and fellow government officials will be traveling to German, Sweden, and Norway on a 10-day trade mission beginning June 12.
“Germany and Scandinavia are key export markets for Minnesota, generating over $1 billion in annual export sales for local companies,” Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), said in a statement. “Our goal is to attract foreign direct investment and identify distributors and new business partners to increase exports.”
In 2012, Minnesota companies set a new export record of $20.6 billion, up $246 million from 2011. The state’s top exports are in machinery, optic and medical instruments, and vehicles—most of which are exported to all of the countries the delegation is visiting.
According to DEED, Germany was the state’s fifth-largest export market in 2012, with $728 million in sales. The largest Minnesota exports to Germany last year were machinery ($209 million) and optic and medical instruments ($203 million).
Minnesota exports to Sweden in 2012 totaled $142 million, led by vehicles ($62 million), optic and medical instruments ($21 million), and electrical machinery ($20 million).
Norway accounted for $46 million worth of Minnesota exports, including optic and medical instruments ($12 million), electrical machinery ($11 million), and vehicles ($9 million).
Companies in those countries are also looking for foreign direct investment opportunities in Minnesota, especially in the agricultural manufacturing, renewable energy, and med-tech sectors, according to DEED. Geringhoff, a Germany-based farm implement manufacturer, is investing $20 million in its first North American factory in St. Cloud. Germany’s $1.4 billion in direct investment in Minnesota ranks first among European countries.
The delegation includes Dayton’s two sons, Eric and Andrew, founders of The Daft Group—a real estate and entrepreneurial venture group and parent company to The Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis.
Also in the delegation are the following:
·      James Allen, founding partner, Masters Alliance Consultancy, LLC
·      Kjell Bergh, chairman and CEO, Borton Volvo, Inc. and Borton Overseas, LLC
·      Edward Black, president and CEO, Reimbursement Strategies, LLC
·      Ellen Ewald, partner, Tysvar, LLC, and MobileAxept, Inc.
·      Kevin Hanson, president, International Creative Capital, LLC
·      John Hasselberg, associate professor of global business leadership, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
·      Jeffery Hensley, vice president, The Wall Companies/Minnesota Innovation Park
·      Pat Hentges, city manager, Mankato
·      Ralf Keysser, managing principal, Hannover, Ltd.
·      Michael Langley, CEO, Greater MSP
·      Julie Langley, representative, Lakselaget
·      Diana Lawson, dean, Herberger School of Business, St. Cloud State University
·      Annette Lund, vice president, Diversified Plastics, Inc.
·      Terje Mikalsen, CEO and partner, Tysvar, LLC, and MobileAxept Inc.
·      Bhabani Misra, director of graduate programs in software, University of St. Thomas
·      Barbara Muller, attorney, Fredrikson & Byron
·      Thomas Newton, vice president of business development, Knock, Inc.
·      Randy Pelletier, owner and president, Pellco Machine, Inc.
·      Bruce Peterson, executive dean for academic initiatives, St. Cloud Technical and Community College
·      Earl Potter III, president, St. Cloud State University
·      Jeffrey Rageth, vice president of public affairs, 3M
·      Susan Rani, president, Rani Engineering
·      Maureen Reed, executive director, Nobel Peace Prize Forum
·      Devon Russell, owner and president, ViViR International, LLC
·      Jon Scheve, president of grain trading, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC
·      Nick Scott, director of international transfer pricing, Grant Thornton, LLP
·      Ken Smith, president and CEO, Ever-Green Energy, LLC
·      Ivar Sorensen, managing partner, The M&A Group, LLC
·      Clifford Steer, professor of medicine and genetics, cell biology, and development, University of Minnesota
·      Lars Svensson, president, Klingborg Consulting, LLC
·      John Wall, president, The Wall Companies/Minnesota Innovation Park
·      Pei Zhang, CEO and owner, Thin Film Sciences, LLC
·      Jonathan Zierdt, president and CEO, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.