2017 Christmas Business Networking Reception in Frankfurt

2017 has indeed been a positively eventful year – not only for the German Australian Business Council that has been commemorating its 20th anniversary, but also for our two countries on a number of levels. What better way to celebrate this special year than to come together with members and friends for a business networking cocktail! Held in Frankfurt on the 30th of November, 2017, the event was a perfect start to the festive season.

We were honoured to be warmly welcomed by the German Australian Business Council’s Co-Patron, Richard Leather, Consul-General Frankfurt and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe, to his residence.

To the backdrop of an elegantly intimate setting, accompanied by excellent Australian wines and delicious food, our members and friends found themselves in an ideal atmosphere to unwind, celebrate and mingle. We were delighted to welcome a number of new faces from different horizons and professional backgrounds, thus enhancing the diversity and quality of the business networking.

Sabine Pittrof, German Australian Business Council Chair, took us through the highlights of the past year – with some very good news. The various events and activities of the German Australian Business Council in 2017 resulted in significantly increased cooperation between our two countries. In addition, Sabine Pittrof shared with us insights from the recent Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, held in Perth in November 2017, in which our association actively took part. We also had a preview of the eventful calendar lined up for 2018. We definitely have a lot to look forward to!

To mark the end of our 20th anniversary year, Sabine Pittrof and Richard Leather hosted the business card draw. Five lucky winners took home superb bottles of Australian wine.

As this unique year winds up, we would like to wish all our members and friends an enjoyable, peaceful and safe festive season. Thank you wholeheartedly for your involvement in 2017. We are excited about continuing our promisingly prosperous journey with you in 2018!

Australian Business in Europe Meeting Update

The Chairs of organisations participating in the informal Australian Business in Europe gathered in Brussels on 13/14th October 2017 for their half-yearly meeting. As the network is growing, participants were able to welcome new groups from Spain and Luxembourg.  The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Australian Embassy in Brussels. As a way of increasing benefits for members of each organization, it was decided to plan a joint event during 2018, focusing on the upcoming Free Trade negotiations between Europe and Australia. Participants also reconfirmed that members of participating organisations can attend events of other organisations at the members price. Many thanks are due to ABIE Belgium for a splendid organisation of the meeting!


ABIE NEWS: New Organisation – Australian Spain Business Association

The German Australian Business Council is delighted to welcome ASAB (Australian Spain Business Association) as a new organisation to ABIE (Australian Business in Europe). We would also like to take this opportunity to remind our members of their ability to attend all ABIE associations events at the member price.

To find out more about the ASAB, including their upcoming events by visiting http://australiaspain.com.

To find out more about ABIE, visit www.abie.eu.

European Cluster Collaboration Platform Logo

Australian Biotechnology Industry

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform has reported recently on the the Australian biotechnology industry, which is considered to be one of the most important biotech sectors in the world.

In terms of the number of companies, the industry is ranked first in the Asian-Pacific area and it is sixth rank of the global market, which makes Australia a leading country in this sector worldwide. The biotech sector in Australia brought €4,9 billion ($7,3 billion AUD) incomes in 2016, for an average of 4% annual growth for the last 5 years (period 2012-2017). Governmental program funding and strong foreign investments have led to a lot of cooperation partnerships with non-Australian companies have stimulated industrial performance in this fast-growing sector. A growth of 4,3% per year is expected for the next few years (period 2017-2022). The biotech industry is now heavily supported by governmental policies, as it is targeted by the National Biotechnology Strategy and has a ministerial organisation dedicated to it: the Commonwealth Biotechnology Ministerial Council.

WebSummit 2017

German Australian Business Council Member Robert Harrison joined a number of other Australians at the WebSummit held recently in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a good opportunity to learn about trends and discuss Australian startups. The event itself attracted over 60,000 people ranging from startup entrepreneurs, politicians, journalists and musicians and is sometimes described as “Davos for Geeks”. It was a mixture of discussions on technical and political matters, training events, and showcasing startup companies from around the world.

Ambassador Rayner with Robert Harrison and Michael Bingel

Ambassador Rayner with Robert Harrison and Michael Bingel

Peter Rayner, Australian Ambassador to Portugal, hosted a reception on the Wednesday evening that was attended by around fifty people, including Michael Bingel from Austrade’s Landing Pad in Berlin. Peter welcomed the Australian attendees and the attention that the WebSummit had brought to the city.

Rob has already booked his ticket for the 2018 event and looks forward to catching up with other Australians who find their way to Lisbon. He’d be happy to help arrange contacts and help with any Australian company that wishes to extend their stay.

Lynette Wood - Austrlian Ambassador

Australian Indigenous Art Exhibition runs in Berlin until April 2018

Evangelos Kotsopoulos attended Thursday´s formal opening of a hugely impressive art exhibition of indigenous Australian art at the me Collector´s Room (a large private gallery in Berlin-Mitte. The exhibition runs through to early April 2018 and is on loan from the National Gallery of Australia. It is the largest collection of this kind which the National Gallery has ever sent outside of the country and shows beautiful, traditional artworks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders artist, right through to modern/contemporary installations.

Ambassador WoodAmbassador Lynette Wood opened the exhibition and the event was very well attended by about 200 visitors and quite a bit of press.

The show was the culmination and endpoint of the Australia now 2017 cultural year in Germany, which has been a great success.

Siemens Factory Tour in Berlin on 12th of October 2017

German Australian Business Council invited member and friends to a tour through the Siemens Vacuum Interrupter (VI) factory which took part on the 12th of October 2017 in the “Siemens Röhrenwerk Berlin”, located in the Berlin district of Siemensstadt, were Siemens was once founded.

Around 80% of all power grid operators today opt for vacuum switch gear. The market share of vacuum circuit breakers is more than 99% in Germany.

Vacuum interrupters are the centerpiece of our medium-voltage components. The hermetically sealed vacuum contact gap keeps the switching characteristics of the interrupters constant throughout their entire life-cycle. Special contact materials made by Siemens ensure that the vacuum interrupters offer absolutely top performance. With valuable features that include high short-circuit switching capacity and minimum forward resistance, they ensure reliable switching even under difficult environmental conditions – like vibration and fluctuating frequencies – regardless of whether they’re installed horizontally or vertically. The vacuum interrupters can perform up to 30,000 operating cycles when used in circuit breakers and up to three million for contractors – maintenance-free, throughout their entire service life.

For Decades of experience in development and manufacturing Siemens is a pioneer and a technology leader in the vacuum switching technology. Only highly automated, state-of-the-art machines and production processes are used in our production facilities to guarantee the best quality.

During the tour the participants received a glance on the VI production and during the introduction in the Information centre the variety of the whole spectrum which is produced in Siemensstadt was presented. Thank you for the grateful event. We are looking forward to the next tour.

Business Networking at Oktoberfest 2017 – German Australian Business Council – Lunch

The 3rd German Australian Business Council Oktoberfest Business Networking Lunch Event took place On 29 September 2017. German Australian Business Council members and guests met at the Löwenbräu Festzelt. Everybody enjoyed the unique atmosphere at lunch time.

Outside the tent the typical Bavarian white blue sky was shining and inside the tent we enjoyed nice music, some mass of beer and the obligatory Hendl.

A lot of new contacts and interesting talks took place.

Business Networking at Oktoberfest 2017 German Australian Business Council – MING

The German Australian Business Council Oktoberfest Business Networking Event took place on 24 September 2017. German Australian Business Council members and guests met at the Schottenhamel Festzelt. Together with 180 participants of the MING (Munich International Networking Groups) everybody enjoyed the unique atmosphere at lunch time.

Outside the tent the typical Bavarian white blue sky was shining and inside the tent we enjoyed nice music, some mass of beer and the obligatory Hendl.

A lot of new contacts and interesting talks took place.

Ambassador’s Dinner 2017 Frankfurt

This year’s Ambassador’s Dinner was a particularly festive event. 2017 is the year that the German Australian Business Council (GABC) celebrates 20 years of connecting Germany and Australia.

Held on the 12th of September at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof Hotel in central Frankfurt, we were honoured to welcome both our Co-Patrons, Her Excellency Lynette Wood, Australian Ambassador to Germany, as well as Richard Leather, Consul General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner at the Australian Consulate-General in Frankfurt. We also had the pleasure of the company  of The Honourable Martin Hamilton-Smith MP, South Australian Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence Industries and Veterans’ Affairs as well as many other distinguished guests both at Federal and State level.

Almost 120 international guests spanning across the business, political, educational and cultural spheres took part in this year’s Ambassador’s Dinner.

The evening debuted with a networking pre-dinner cocktail. The diversity, generous curiosity and open-mindedness of our guests allowed for the evening to immediately start off in great spirits, with many new contacts being established.

Once in the dining room, GABC Chair, Sabine Pittrof, welcomed all guests and took us through the past 20 years since the creation of GABC: an incredibly rich programme of events and business opportunities, to say the least!

Following, for the first time as our Patron, the Australian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Lynette Wood, addressed our guests, highlighting the current business and political climate between Australia and Germany.

We also heard from the South Australian Minister, who touched upon numerous topics relevant to German Australian business relations, including those of innovation and renewable energy.

On a different note, Markus Svensson, European General Manager for Qantas, focused on the outlook of the airline industry, briefly outlining the plans for non-stop flight to Europe.

Our Master of Ceremony for the event, Evangelos Kotsopoulos, CEO Continental Europe for Sonic Healthcare and GABC Board Member, led us nicely throughout the entire evening.

The evening was concluded by an abundant business card draw as a way to celebrate our 20 year anniversary, followed by closing remarks and a word of thank you by Sabine Pittrof.

Events such as the Ambassador’s Dinner would not be possible without the generous support of our Corporate Members and sponsors. Sonic Healthcare (Gold Sponsor), State of South Australia (Gold Sponsor), Qantas (Gold Sponsor), Squire Patton Boggs (Silver Sponsor) and the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK) (Silver Sponsor) supported the 2017 Ambassador’s Dinner. The German Australian Business Council would like to warmly thank our sponsors for their kind support.





All photos by Jens Braune del Angel, Frankfurt