June 17, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Allen Announces First Successful Deal
-- $2 Million Agreement Will Create 50 New Jobs in Bedford County --

Simonswald, Germany - Governor George Allen announced the first successful deal of his European Trade Mission today with company officials from Siegfried Haller Uhrenfabrik GmbH. The agreement will bring a $2 million expansion and create 50 new jobs at the Haller Clock Company of America facility in Bedford County. Haller Clock Manufactures world-famous anniversary clocks and internal components for a variety of products. Virginia was in competition with Georgia for the investment.

Siegfried Haller Uhrenfabrik GmbH is the parent company to two companies in Virginia: Haller Clock Company of America and Forest Manufacturing, Inc. Governor Allen met with Mr. Siegfried Haller and Mr. Manfred Haller, managing directors of Siegfried Haller Clock manufacturers, in Germany's Black Forest region before today's announcement. Haller Clock was established in Bedford County in 1980 and currently occupies an 87,000-square-foot facility and employs 95 people.

"It is always gratifying to see companies which are established in Virginia express their confidence in our business climate by choosing to expand existing operations," said Governor Allen. "Time and again our trade delegation has heard how important Virginia's reasonable regulatory policies and competitive tax structure are for businesses like Haller Clock to successfully compete in the international markets."

"The parent company and both Virginia companies are enjoying stable growth in the clock sector and experiencing explosive growth in telecommunications for global markets," said Mr. Manfred Haller.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Bedford County officials, and Region 2000 worked cooperatively to attract the prospect. As part of the deal, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will develop a customized training program for the new employees. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will arrange for MBA students in Virginia to coordinate a global marketing plan for the company as part of the partnership's International Marketing Program (IMP) this fall.

Germany is Virginia's fifth largest export destination with $672 million in exports during 1996. Figures through 1996 show cumulative German investment in Virginia totaled $2 billion, representing 121 enterprises and 10,025 jobs. Germany claimed 22 percent of Virginia's $8.7 billion total foreign investments.

Governor George Allen and First Lady Susan Allen are currently leading a 15 day trade and investment mission to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. More than 40 Virginia Business Leaders are joining them for all or part of the mission.

Governor Allen has outlined four major goals for the mission; 1) seek additional foreign investment for Virginia; 2) provide an increased understanding of European business markets and expanded trade opportunities to Virginia business executives; 3) promote shipping through Virginia ports; and 4) market Virginia as an inviting destination for tourists.

Since 1994 Governor Allen and First Lady Susan Allen have led Business delegations on six trade missions to Canada, Mexico, Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. These missions have produced more than $112 million in new investments and over $64 million in sales of Virginia products and services.

The Governor and First Lady are scheduled to return on June 28.

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