US auto suppliers seek to invest in east Germany

Berlin. East Germany's Industrial Investment Council (IIC) is currently talking with 50 companies, including North American firms, interested in setting up business in the region.

The IIC has been helping foreign businesses establish themselves in east Germany since 1997. The German government and the new east German federal states finance the organization.

Albrecht Bochow, IIC automotive director, said the IIC is negotiating with more than 50 interested companies.

Bochow, who often commutes between Detroit and Berlin, said that there is a lot of interest from medium-sized North American suppliers. These companies, with sales of up to 500 million, are looking to become more global.

Bochow said that foreign companies coming into the region have already created thousands of jobs in the auto industry. Many of the jobs came from companies that moved to the region to support new plants established by BMW and Porsche.

The Italian business Magnetto Automotive has set up in Treuen producing body shell components for BMW. The Canadian supplier Linamar will manufacture camshafts for a new-generation BMW six-cylinder engine in Crimmitschau starting in 2005.

The IIC brings interested companies into contact with other investors so they can exchange experiences.

The organization also arranges meetings with banks, gives out information about competitors, looks for possible grants and checks out the qualifications of potential workers.

Tags: Suppliers

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