Fairfax County EDA Goes Int’l, Again

Fairfax County EDA Goes Int’l, Again – Government Activity

Kyle Balluck

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) will target European technology firms interested in expansion to the U.S. through a new marketing office in Frankfurt, Germany. FCEDA President Gerald Gordon told Washtech.com that Germany is one of Europe’s hottest technology markets.

Gordon said Frankfurt was chosen because the city is a business and financial center, is centrally located in Europe, and is convenient flight connections exist between Frankfurt and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Joachim Schropp, a former executive of several German companies and consultant for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, will be the FCEDA’s European marketing representative. Schropp will also focus heavily on Scandinavia, due to its aggressive IT and telecom industries, Gordon added.

According to the development authority, about 150 international companies now operate in Fairfax County, including 11 from Germany, 15 from France and 8 from the Netherlands. It said proximity to both Reagan National and Dulles Airports is often listed as a factor in the decision to locate in Fairfax County, as are the county’s workforce and public school system.

Gordon said European companies interested in locating in Fairfax County often need more services than their domestic counterparts. He said the authority helps European companies find partners in an effort get acclimated to a new business culture. Personal issues such as establishing credit in the U.S. are also addressed, he added.

The Frankfurt office joins FCEDA locations in Tokyo and London.

The FCEDA (http://www.FairfaxCountyEDA.org) provides services and information designed to promote Fairfax County as a technology hub and a center of commerce and trade. The FCEDA also runs a capital attraction program to link entrepreneurs and start-up firms with venture capitalists and angel investors. Another program assists small, minority- and women- owned businesses.

Reported by Washtech.com, http://www.washtech.com .

11:43 CST

(20000802/WIRES ONLINE, TELECOM, BUSINESS, ASIA/)

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