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Muskens Speaks on 'What Pennsylvania Is Doing to Attract Business and Promote Exports in Europe'


Wilfred Muskens presenting at the Oktoberfest meeting of the GABC Pittsburgh


PITTSBURGH, 07 Nov. 2013 - At the Oktoberfest meeting of the German American Business Circle, Pennsylvania official Wilfred Muskens described the sweeping benefits provided by the commonwealth’s trade development program, the largest and most comprehensive state-sponsored initiative in the country. He was introduced by Jeffrey Deane, CPA, managing partner of BKD, LLP, while Susanne Cook, partner with Cohen & Grigsby, providing closing remarks.

Muskens noted that Pennsylvania ranks 10th among U.S. states in the value of exported goods and services, including $38.8 billion in goods and $15.3 billion in services. The commonwealth has customers in 221 countries, with the top export markets including Canada, China, Mexico, Germany and United Kingdom.

Pennsylvania exports rank in the top 10 among U.S. states in 55 industries. The state is first in transportation equipment, such as motorcycles, valued at $587 million; and first in confections, valued at $566 million. View the entire presentation.

Pennsylvania Investment Highlights – Among Pennsylvania’s recent wins have been leading 496 site visits involving 121 companies; projects creating 5,357 jobs; and attracting $750.5 million in capital investment and $152.1 million in tax revenues.

What Makes Pennsylvania’s Approach Unique – Muskens cited the reasons why the commonwealth’s initiative is unique. It has the largest international network of any state and uses a five-factor performance metrics regimen and performance-based compensation for all contractors. It also focuses on public-private partnerships with the Team PA Foundation; enjoys cooperation with Bicameral International Caucus; and generates a significant return on investment.

Pennsylvania Exports/Imports with Germany in 2011 – Exports totaled $1.81 billion, with Germany as the fifth largest destination. German exports totaled $82.7 billion, with some $3.4 billion passing through Pennsylvania ports.

Authorized Representatives in Germany - Pennsylvania has two authorized representatives in Germany. Dr. Linda von Delhaes-Guenther is the trade representative in Heidelberg, focusing on exports. Stefan Peikert is the investment representative in Munster, focusing on inbound investment.

Free Export Assistance – The commonwealth offers free, confidential, personalized service for Pennsylvania businesses interested in exporting their goods or services. Among the highlights:

  • International Market Intelligence: data gathering, analysis for market – product compatibility and competitiveness; market entry strategy
  • Export Counseling: strategic, tactical, technical
  • Partner Identification, Qualifications and Introductions: qualifying and assessing leads, partners, distributors, agents, buyers, government officials
  • International Events Assistance: pre-show marketing, appointment scheduling, trip logistics for trade exhibitions, missions, in-bound buyer delegations
  • On-The-Ground, In-Country Support: trip logistics, appointment scheduling, post-trip support and follow-up

Investment Assistance – The commonwealth offers these services for attracting foreign investment into Pennsylvania:

  • Aiding companies in setting up a U.S. subsidiary
  • Providing information on Pennsylvania’s labor force, average wages, business tax structure and more
  • Coordinating site and building searches
  • Assisting in determining financial assistance
  • Networking with potential partners, including suppliers, colleges and universities, law and accounting firms, banks, real estate professionals, construction and engineering firms and regional economic development experts
  • Assisting with immigration issues
  • Identifying training opportunities.

View the entire presentation.

Corporate Supporters: Huntington Bank, Sycor and Westar International Forwarders

Media Supporters: Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Our Region's Business and Pittsburgh Business Times

Founding Supporters: Ardex Americas, BKD LLP and Cohen & Grigsby

Future Events - To receive an invitation to future GABC events, please contact Erika Daxbeck at