Big Wins Abroad

Alabama to open European office in Stuttgart, Germany, to advance economic development

Commerce Doerr

Christoph Dörr, an experienced German businessman who spent seven years in charge of an industrial operation in Alabama, serves as the director of the state’s new European office, which began operating earlier this month.

Dörr’s job will be to build on Alabama’s long-standing economic development activities in Europe. In 2018 alone, European companies announced projects in Alabama involving nearly $1.5 billion in new capital investment and 1,500 jobs, according to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce.

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“Communities across Alabama have seen real benefits from the state’s economic ties to Europe, thanks to robust levels of two-way trade and significant investment that has created thousands of jobs,” Governor Ivey said.

“Establishing a European business development office to strengthen this relationship and spark even more economic activity just makes sense for Alabama.”


Dörr traveled to Montgomery last Friday for meetings with Governor Ivey and Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. He also met with Bob Smith, the assistant director of Commerce’s business development team who directs European strategy, and Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce’s International Trade Office, among others.

“As we see investment from Europe on the rise, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, forest products and chemical sectors, it has become more apparent to us that having representation on the ground in Europe will help provide new connections, not only with companies within those sectors but also to help us advance our trade opportunities,” Secretary Canfield said.

Smith said Dörr has solid contacts in industrial fields such as engineering, tooling, machining and additive manufacturing in Germany and other areas on the continent. With more than 20 years of management experience, Dörr has developed an extensive network of business connections in the region, he added.

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