Brewer travels to Europe to promote Arizona tourism, trade - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Brewer travels to Europe to promote Arizona tourism, trade

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Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:38 pm | Updated: 4:33 pm, Fri Jun 8, 2012.

Gov. Jan Brewer is headed to Europe to spread the word about all the tax cuts the Arizona Legislature enacted for business.

The two-week trip to Germany and France comes on the heels of the Legislature adopting a package of tax cuts aimed at spurring economic development in the state. That includes new incentives for companies that build manufacturing facilities, research labs or corporate offices in the state and extending how long companies can use current losses to offset future profits — and future state taxes.

And the state is cutting its capital gains tax rate by 25 percent.

Those cuts come on top of measures approved last year which are supposed to take effect in 2014, including a 30 percent reduction in corporate income taxes.

Gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said his boss is spreading the word.

“Arizona has put in place a series of business incentive and other attractions that rival anything offered around the country or around the world,” he said. “The key now is to make sure that business executives know everything that the state has to offer.”

Benson said the “cornerstone” of the mission is a Global Business Dialogue conference in Berlin being organized in partnership with Arizona’s Thunderbird School of Global Management. He said that conference will bring together more than 500 business leaders from around the world, with one of the topics on the agenda being trade prospects between the United States and Europe.

The delegation, which also includes officials from the Arizona Office of Tourism and the quasi-public Arizona Commerce Authority, also are set to attend a seminar with German corporations on trade, investment and tourism with German corporations that have indicated an interest in relocating to or expanding operations in the American Southwest.

Benson said Germany is the largest consumer market in the European Union and imported $770 million worth of Arizona goods and products in 2011.

Brewer also will have a series of business meetings in Paris, including with French companies that already have a presence in Arizona and may consider expanding their operations. France imported $484 million in goods from Arizona in 2011.

But the trip has a dual purpose. Benson said he believes there are opportunities to boost tourism in Arizona from the two countries.

“These are two of the most significant markets in terms of Arizona tourism,” Benson said, saying Germany and France rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in terms of tourism and spending.

“By visiting in person, meeting with these trade and travel publications and really spreading that word, we believe that we can once again put Arizona at the top of the list for people living in these two countries,” he said.

But Sherry Henry, the state’s tourism director, said promoting Arizona as a place to visit also can help spur business investments.

“We know that tourism can serve as an entree to future economic investment as executives visit a location for the first time and find it appealing for their businesses,” she said in a prepared statement.

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