Five Georgia legislators visited Munich and Regensburg in the German state of Bavaria Sept. 15-22 to strengthen business and diplomatic ties with one of Europe’s strongest economic regions.

State Sen. Judson Hill of Marietta, and state Reps. Bob Bryant of Garden City, Allen Freeman of Macon, Ron Stephens of Savannah, Joe Wilkinson of Sandy Springs were joined by Craig Lesser, managing director of the Atlanta law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

John Woodward, director, foreign investment, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Gretchen Corbin, division director, international operations, Georgia Department of Economic Development and Wade Caldwell, production manager, GlobalAtlanta news services, were also in the delegation.

Aside from observing how the state’s economic development funds have promoted business between Bavaria and Georgia, the legislators visited companies that have a presence in Georgia to find out how the legislature could help them expand further.

These included Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH, which has a subsidiary in Peachtree City; Siemens AG, which has 3,600 employees in Georgia and its subsidiary Siemens Energy and Automation Inc. is located in Alpharetta, Munich Re which has its American headquarters for Munich American Holding Company in Atlanta and GrenzebachMashinenbau GmbH, which has a production plant in Newnan.

The delegates also visited several biotechnology companies and a biotech research park as a major focus of their trip. These included BioM AG, a financing, service and consulting company that promotes the development of the industry in the Munich area.

While in Regensburg, they also went to a biotech park and visited Geneart AG, which provides integrated system solutions for DNA engineering and processing.

In Munich, they visited the city’s Technical University, one of the top universities in Germany and a member off the Deutsche Forschungsgernennschaft, a society of the country’s leading research universities.

The delegation also met with local officials including Eberhard Sinner, state minister of Bavaria and head of the state chancellery; Emilia Mueller, Bavarian state minister for federal and European affairs and Eric Nelson, the U.S. consul general.

For more information about the visit, contact Antje Abshoff, managing director, European offices, Georgia Department of Economic Development, at +49 (0) 89 517 027 50 or send an email to or Nils Gerber, trade manager, European office, at +49 (0) 89 517 027 41 or send an email to