RWE Energie, one of Europe’s largest energy providers and a member of the energy division of the conglomerate, RWE Group, has set up an Atlanta office to assist U.S. companies expand into Germany.

Markus Becker, director of business development, heads the office, which is located at German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern Untied States in Buckhead.

Mr. Becker told GlobalFax in an interview last week that RWE Energie has signed a cooperation agreement with the German chamber here to complement its goals of promoting bilateral trade, investment and economic relations between the South and Germany.

“We wish to work with all sizes of U.S. companies ranging from the largest to small and medium-sized firms,” he said.  “We know that we can be of special assistance to those firms that do not have the personnel, resources or desire to do their own research.”

Mr. Becker first became interested in the expansion of services to be offered by the German utility companies during the parliament’s deregulation debates of 1996.  He then studied the possibilities for German utility companies to become more involved in economic development as they are in the U.S.   

While visiting Atlanta, he learned of the economic development initiatives of Georgia Power and sought to duplicate them at home. With the support of Thomas Beck, the president and CEO of the German chamber, he approached RWE Energie officials at its headquarters in Essen with the idea of opening the Atlanta office.

Once Germany’s parliament deregulated the industry, the Essen officials accepted the plan recognizing a new role for them as economic developers.  The office is now prepared to provide contacts for comprehensive development services similar to those provided by Georgia Power for German companies locating here.

Mr. Becker may be reached by calling (404) 239-9934; fax, (404) 264-1761.  His E-mail address is