The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber works with many businesses in the Tristate, but their international efforts are showing businesses abroad that this Midwestern town has much to offer.

“This isn’t just about good PR for the region. This is highly focused on hitting the desks of decision makers with a positive story on Cincinnati, so when they’re thinking about expansion opportunities, they’re thinking about us,” says Doug Moormann, vice president of economic development at the chamber.

Inviting international journalists to come see Cincinnati with their own eyes exposes them to Cincinnati’s strong points. The trips usually focus on an event, as well as relevant sites in the area. Recently, five foreign journalists were shown not just a pharmaceutical conference, but also related companies like Patheon, Girindus and Amylin.

The trip’s highlights were reflected in the German magazine Wirtschafts Woche (similar to BusinessWeek). It published an article on the benefits of scientific research in Cincinnati, due to the steady stream of research dollars at the University of Cincinnati and Children’s Hospital. Other major publications detailed Cincinnati’s booming biotechnology field, the growing local economy, the Genome Research Institute and regional Swiss flavoring company Givaudan.

“Most Germans would probably associate the Midwest with the Rust Belt, decline, and not so many good things happening,” says Neil Hensley, senior director of economic development at the chamber. But now, Germany, France, Japan and others are taking notice of the advantages Cincinnati can offer.

Chamber members also travel to Asia and Western Europe to evoke attention and explain the benefits of expansion in Cincinnati. Some benefits include cheaper office and employee costs, lower housing prices and an international airport.

“We look for companies that we think can significantly grow their customer base, and from which Cincinnati would be a good central location,” Hensley explains.

He and other chamber members give lectures, showcase successfully relocated businesses, and present written materials in the countries’ native languages. This encouraged businesses like Japanese-based Pacific Manufacturing, an automobile parts manufacturing company that came to Fairfield with just 10 workers in the late 1980s. Today, they employ several hundred workers in the region.

Hensley says that when the chamber travels, other countries are often shocked; typical chambers of commerce don’t travel overseas to market their city. Those companies that do expand to Cincinnati find a world-class symphony, major league sports teams, an international airport and countless business opportunities.

“Those give us advantages that we think make us very competitive (as) a viable, preferred destination,” Moormann says.