As chairman of the German Interest Group, I am delighted to have been asked to write this blog, and look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences in the coming months.
First a little history of the group:
Since its inception in 2012, we have grown from a small collection of members with a shared interest and drive towards the promotion of business links with Germany, to a diverse group with representatives from key organisations, a valuable bank of specialist expertise, a solid portfolio of events and literature, and wide-ranging professional networks. Most recently, these networks were further expanded by our attendance at a very successful dinner in London organised on our behalf by the AHK. Here we had the opportunity to promote Nottingham and the East Midlands to a number of high profile figures within the UK German business community. 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for us as we gear up towards a prestigious visit from the Karlsruhe Oberbürgermeister in the autumn as well as a planned trade mission to Germany in 2015 in Karlsruhe’s 300th Jubilee year.
In my view, commercial links between Nottingham and Germany have never been stronger than in recent years, and we should look forward to continued prosperity here. In 2012 & 2013, the UK ranked no. 3 in Germany’s foreign trading partners, falling only behind France and the United States. More specifically to Nottingham, many of the industries and advancements for which the city is celebrated are those which are also often attributed as quintessentially German industry strengths – science, engineering and technology in particular. This mutual interest and expertise surely contributes towards the continued attraction of trade and investment between the two destinations.
The future certainly looks bright for the German Interest Group as we continue to fortify relationships, encourage business on both sides and promote Nottingham as a fabulous place to live and work.