Tampa International Airport hosted a reception for The Honorable Eva Alexandra Countess Kendeffy, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany on Thursday, November 10, 2011.
Invited along with Countess Kendeffy were local representatives of the German business community. The reception was intended to raise awareness of the strong ties that the Tampa Bay area shares with Germany.
A recent study by the Tampa Bay Partnership revealed that 66 of 480 international companies with operations in the region are based in Germany, making it the area’s third largest investor nation.
“The German market represents one of our key targets for a new flight”, said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “A lot of people from Germany come for tourism, to our world class beaches. A lot of people from Germany own property on the west coast of Florida. So we are very encouraged by this event.”
New non-stop service between Tampa and a European city such as Frankfurt, Germany could pump millions of dollars into the Tampa Bay economy.
Countess Kendeffy focused attention on the value of German businesses to Florida, and notably to Tampa Bay. “Lots of firms are in high tech, research, information and multi-media. German firms contribute to support Florida’s role as a technology center in the U.S.”, said the Countess.
She also expressed a desire for nonstop air service.
“I commend the Tampa International Airport, the Authority and its leadership that have made such an effort and have the vision to do that. It needs enthusiasm and vision to bring it about. I think it will work out.”
In addition to the countess, the airport welcomed Brigadier General Dieter Dammjakob of the German Air Force. The general is currently the Senior National Representative of the German Defense Forces to the U.S. Central Command.
Following the program, the reception guests and airport visitors were treated to a 30 minute performance by German pianist Roswitha Lohmer