Governor Branstad arrived back in Iowa early this morning after a 10-day “trade mission” to Europe. Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham joined the governor on the trip and says they met with dozens of companies that are planning at least $600 million in capital investment projects over the next few years. “Iowa is competing for all of that,” Durham told Radio Iowa.
“And with that, conservatively, there are about 250 – what I would consider – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs…a lot in research and development, which I was encouraged to see, and then a lot in highly-skilled science positions.” Durham said they met with the “decision-makers” of many companies, but she would not release the identities of those companies.
“Most of them are companies that already have a presence in the United States or Iowa and they’re looking at major expansions, but there was one in particular that would be significant that would be a brand new development for Iowa,” Durham said. Officials in Iowa have already been “courting” that “brand new development” for nearly two years, according to Durham.
During the trip to Europe, Governor Branstad signed a sister-state agreement with Kosovo. Durham and Branstad also had business-related meetings in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Durham is scheduled to return to Kosovo in October, to travel the country with its ambassador to the U.S.