The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung has recently released its 2020 annual report on activities in Australia and the Pacific. The publication can be downloaded here: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung – Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific (kas.de)
On 5th of February 2021, the Business Council had the pleasure of hosting an online event with Katharina McGrath, Director of the DAAD Information Centre in Sydney, and Christian Strowa, Head of Section “Scholarship Programmes Asia and the Pacific” at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn. The DAAD is a self-governing organisation comprised of German higher education institutions and their student bodies and constitutes one of the largest funding bodies for academic exchange worldwide. Since it was founded in 1925, the DAAD has supported more than 2.6 million academics in Germany and abroad. It relies on a strong organisational structure, a worldwide network of partners and alumni and a motivated staff of over 900 employees.
Christian Strowa provided a structural overview and explained DAAD’s mission from an operational point of view. He introduced the DAAD’s current strategic goals: promote excellence in education and science through international exchange, enhance international collaboration and promote global responsibility and development through “change by exchange”, the DAAD’s motto. He also introduced the pillars of the German research sector from a funding point of view. Detailed figures were provided on international student exchange and the current measures in place in view of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Katharina McGrath outlined scholarships and funding opportunities for exchanges from Australia to Germany and spoke about the current situation of Australian universities with regards to international exchange during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines may allow exchanges to resume in the near future but new opportunities to build deeper connections have accelerated through virtual tools in the meantime.
If you have interest in watching the webinar, please contact our office for access to a recording.
The Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce invited members to their virtual event: A 2021 Toast to Australia: Aussie Wine Tasting and Networking on the 3rd of February, 2021. Representatives of various ABIE Groups across Europe were also invited to participate to broaden the networking across borders. Eberhard Goihl, GABC treasurer, attended as the German flag-bearer.
The wines were delivered to participants beforehand, so everybody could smell, taste and drink the products as Mark Flounders from Plonk Wines Ltd. introduced three different wines and shared a lot of insider information. Despite the European guests experiencing their first contact with the new Brexit regulations (the wine delivery was delayed in Customs due to declaration requirements), everybody enjoyed the session and networking opportunities very much.
In order to welcome Ambassador Philip Green to Germany, the German Australian Business Council held a virtual corporate roundtable for corporate members on the 3rd of December 2020. During this exclusive C-Level briefing, which took place under Chatham House rules, the Ambassador set out key priorities for his tenure. Participants had the opportunity to put their questions to the Ambassador.
Given the success of the format, we are looking at hosting further industry-specific roundtables in 2021.
On Wednesday, the 13th of January, the German Australian Business Council and the Irish Business Network (IBN) Germany welcomed almost 70 participants for our first joint event of 2021 “Three Sides of a Coin: fresh perspectives for 2021 from Germany, Ireland and Australia”. The event featured speakers John Lynam, Consul General of Ireland, Frankfurt; Simon Clayton, Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy- Berlin; Volkmar Klein, MdB, Member of German Parliament and was moderated by Eric Menges, Managing Director, FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH.
John shared the positive benefits of BREXIT for Ireland, such as accelerated plans to open 25 new missions globally by 2025 and strong investment in key sectors like life sciences and clean tech. Germany is also Ireland’s largest trading partner in the EU and a closer trading relationship and volume is expected once the initial teething issues are sorted.
Simon spoke about new business perspectives particularly in hydrogen. He also highlighted advantages of the AU-EU FTA which is currently being negotiated and which would ideally lead to more EU investment in Australia with positive implications for the global supply chain and logistics.
Volkmar rounded off the discussion highlighting Germany’s three pillars of COVID response around supporting businesses, stabilizing the economy and investing in the future (specifically in industries such as green steel and in developing countries which will be impacted disproportionately by this crisis).
A lively Q&A punctuated by bits of humour and positivity rounded off the rest of the evening’s discussion.
We thank IBN Germany for their cooperation and John, Simon, Volkmar and Eric for a very engaging and insightful evening.
Please kindly contact our office for access to the recording.
German Australian Business Council e.V.
60114 Frankfurt am Main
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