Gov. Jan Brewer says she's confident an Arizona delegation's visits to Germany and France will pay economic dividends but that a personal highlight of the trip was signing a remnant of the Berlin Wall, reports The Associated Press.
Brewer and officials with the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Office of Tourism are on a two-week trip to Germany and France in an attempt to drum up interest in Arizona, pitching its business-friendly atmosphere, and fiscal-turnaround - a reference to the state's currently balanced budget.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that Brewer said companies "were absolutely impressed with what we have done, and they thought we were very, very competitive" in terms of tax reforms and incentives.
Gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said that Germany and France rank fourth and fifth in terms of tourism and spending in the state, making them "two of the most significant markets" for Arizona, according to The Verde Independent.
Arizona's tourism director Sherry Henry said promoting visits to the state 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.
Brewer said she met with about 30 representatives "who expressed keen interest in Arizona, and we were successful not only in regards of job creation and business ventures and investments, but certainly with tourism."
Brewer said it was "amazing" to visit a portion of the wall that formerly divided Berlin and to sign it with her name and the word "freedom." She said witnessing the vestige of the Cold War made her appreciate the United States.
The Arizona delegation travels next to France, returning to Arizona on June 4.