West Midlands leads visit to strengthen trade relations with Germany


A delegation of senior representatives from the West Midlands is leading a sales mission to Hamburg, Germany today (Monday 7th October) to explore and develop opportunities for strengthening the region’s trading relationship with the country.

Led by the West Midlands Growth Company in partnership with Birmingham Airport and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the two-day mission will promote the West Midlands to prospective investors and provide the opportunity to build on existing relationships with businesses that have previously invested in the region.

The West Midlands remains the leading UK region for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outside of London and the South East. Germany was ranked as the second highest source of investment into Greater Birmingham and Solihull after the USA in 2018, according to figures from the Department for International Trade. In the last 10 years, 79 investments came from Germany, creating over 4,300 new jobs and safeguarding a further 1,500.

Major global companies including Siemens Rail, Beiersdorf, DB Engineering & Consulting and Guhring have invested in the region in recent years. 

David Fisken, Head of Business Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

“Germany has long been a pillar of investment success for the West Midlands. Our industrial heritage and expertise in advanced manufacturing, engineering and transport manufacturing mirrors that of Germany’s, and has seen us attract a number of leading companies in these sectors over the last decade.

“This mission is an invaluable opportunity to connect with new organisations and build on the success of our current portfolio of investments, amid what is currently a more challenging climate for attracting FDI than we have seen in previous years. Working with our colleagues at Birmingham Airport and the CBSO allows us to showcase the West Midlands’ dynamic and diverse offer, both in terms of our inward investment potential and tourism prospects.”

The visit coincides with the CBSO’s October tour to Germany, with concerts in Dortmund, Hamburg, Cologne and Baden-Baden. Tonight the delegation will join a sold out audience at Hamburg’s prestigious Elbphilharmonie for a programme of British music performed by the CBSO and CBSO Chorus, conducted by Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

Stephen Maddock OBE, Chief Executive, CBSO, said:

“Showcasing the creativity and culture of the region is crucial for attracting inward investment. As well as promoting the West Midlands’ strengths as a business destination, it is essential that we tell the world about the great quality of life we enjoy here, to encourage visitors – both business and leisure – to come and experience the region for themselves.

“We are proud to be joining this mission as an ambassador for the West Midlands’ diverse cultural scene and look forward to sharing our concerts with German audiences.”

Stefanie Bowes, Travel Trade and Corporate Relationship Manager at Birmingham Airport, added:

“The West Midlands’ location at the heart of the UK has always been a core strength for the region in attracting businesses and visitors from overseas. With plans to improve the region’s already well-connected infrastructure in the pipeline – such as the enhancements we are making at Birmingham Airport – and major global events like the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture 2021 on the horizon, we look forward to showcasing the region’s growing offer.”

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