Berliner Wirtschaftsverbände Sommerfest 2019, August, Berlin

As in the previous years, the Sommerfest der Berliner Wirtschaftsverbände was again a great success! With perfect weather and a very strong turnout, more than 15 GABC members had ample opportunity to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere and network with their peers, including those from the local Berlin region, Germany and also with members from other international associations (including organisation representing the UK, China, Thailand, Netherlands etc.). In addition to a delicious BBQ style buffet, there were activities for children and families and the largest tombola ever (supporting an education focused charity) with the opportunity to win over 100 prizes including several offerings of South Australian wine.

 

GABC- MING Business Networking at Oktoberfest 2019, September, Munich

On the 29th of September 2019, the GABC Oktoberfest Business Networking Event took place. GABC members and guests met at the Schottenhamel Festzelt. Together with more than 230 participants from the MING (Munich International Networking Groups), everybody enjoyed the unique atmosphere over lunch. The typical Bavarian white blue sky weather and the lively music, beer and obligatory Hendl (chicken) inside the tent created a wonderful backdrop for interesting networking and discussion.

 

Siemens Factory Tour, September 2019, Frankfurt

On the 26th of September 2019, the German Australian Business Council invited members and friends to a tour through the Siemens Medium Voltage Switchgear factory in Frankfurt. Since 1984, Siemens has built gas-insulated switchgears, which can be used in transformer and distribution systems of power supply companies, as well as in medium-voltage systems which can be found, for example, in the mining industry, wind parks and on offshore platforms and ships. Siemens gas-insulated switchgear technology provides various advantages in respect of climatic independence, personal safety and maintenance-free design.

The tour provided a great insight in a fascinating field of technology which is otherwise usually not accessible to the public. Thanks to the very professional Siemens staff, who managed to explain the highly technological production processes to a largely lay audience, the tour was a fascinating and very informative event for all participants.

We would like to thank all at Siemens who made this event possible and we look forward to the next tour.

Summer Networking featuring Barramundi on the Barbie- Frankfurt, August 2019

On 1 August 2019, the German Australian Business Council hosted a summer networking event at the Adina Neue Oper Frankfurt showcasing our Mittelstand member, Barramundi Aquakultur. Operations Manager, Fritz Beindorff shared his thoughts about the sustainable Barramundi farming business in Hainburg (20 minutes outside of Frankfurt) and emphasized the benefits of Barramundi grown without antibiotics or hormones. Following a lively Q&A, guests were treated to an expansive buffet spread showcasing “Barramundi on the Barbie” specially prepared by the Adina Frankfurt Neue Oper catering and culinary team. We were delighted to connect with many new members and friends over a spectacular sunset view of the Frankfurt skyline.

Photos by Cherokee Bech

Ambassador’s Dinner- Frankfurt, June 2019

The German Australian Business Council’s Annual Ambassador’s Dinner 2019 was an exclusive and highly successful event as we welcomed over 100 international guests, including representatives joining us from the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) Australia Delegation, at the Sofitel Frankfurt on 25 June 2019.

The pre-dinner networking reception set the stage for the evening with new and renewed connections and lively conversations over drinks and canapes. Dinner started officially with a welcome by Chair, Dr Sabine Pittrof and Co-Patron Australian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Lynette Wood introducing our special speaker: Senator The Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the Senate. Singing a line from Belgium’s wining Eurovision song “J’aime la Vie”, Belgium-born Senator Cormann showed his gracious humour as he responded to a quip by Dr Pittrof about Australia’s successful participation in the Eurovision as testament to the strong Australia-EU ties. This set the tone for his keynote as he outlined the Australian’s government economic priorities and the tremendous opportunities for strengthening bilateral relations.

The evening concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Jeff Connolly, Executive Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia and Pacific and Head of the AHK Australia Delegation.

The German Australian Business Council would like to warmly thank our sponsors FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH and ANZ; and partners, AHK Australia and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission for their kind support.

 

Photos courtesy of Todd Gardner, Frankfurt.

 

ABIE FTA Briefing- Brussels, 4th of July 2019

The German Australian Business Council joined our sister organizations as part of the Australian Business in Europe network (www.abie.eu) to host Australia’s Chief Negotiator for the EU Free Trade Agreement, Alison Burrows, as she delivered a Special Briefing on the status of the negotiations along with a distinguished panel including Ambassador to the EU, Justin Brown, Austrade’s European General Manager, Dan Tebbutt and European Australian Business Council CEO, Jason Collins.   The event was attended by ABIE members from all over Europe including the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Spain and the Czech Republic, together with representatives of several Australian-based business associations and industry groups and Australian Federal and State governmental agencies. The ABIE network is a collective of organisations across Europe and Australia collaborating to develop and promote business relations between the two regions.

GABC and Austrade Europe Landing Pad networking evening at betahaus- Berlin, March 2019

On 26th March, 2019 the German Australian Business Council joined the Australian Landing Pad in Europe (run by the Australian Trade & Investment Commission) in hosting a networking evening at betahaus café in Kreuzberg. This event was an opportunity for members and friends to engage both with the Landing Pad community and to meet with the bootcamp delegation visiting Berlin in preparation of Hannover Messe.

Approximately 30 guests were introduced to the 8 strong delegation and the Europe Landing Pad program by its manager, David Urry, and the Australian Trade Commissioner for Germany, Steve Rank. Local beers and Currywurst helped fuel the engaged conversation throughout the three hour event.

Networking BBQ- Berlin, June 2019

On 5 June GABC Berlin hosted an after-work networking BBQ at the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic in Berlin Pankow which is now the base for a local artist collective (https://ex-embassy.com/en/). The small informal event was attended by a dozen members and friends who enjoyed the vast garden, cool drinks and communal cooking experience alongside interesting conversations with other guests and the resident artists. The evening’s highlight was the guided tour of the historic landmark building and some of the exhibitions on display by the artists. We look forward to hosting further relaxed after-work events for the Berlin community in the near future. The next Berlin event will be the annual Sommerfest der Wirtschaftsverbände at Chalet Suisse on the 30th of August, 2019.

Photo: Maurizio Camagna

ABIE International Networking meeting, Sofia 03./04. May 2019

On the 3rd and 4th of May, 2019, representatives of the ABIE groups met in Sofia to discuss how to further improve their collaboration in terms of activities and events. The meeting was organized by BABC (Bulgaria) with participants coming from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The European-Australian Business Council, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated via telephone.

Andrea Biggi, Deputy Head of Mission from the Australian Embassy in Athens, joined the dinner on Friday and the full meeting on Saturday to discuss the EU-AUS Free Trade Agreement, which is still in the negotiation phase. ABIE groups were asked to give their country-specific input to the team. A common submission from all ABIE groups is planned for June 2019.

In addition, the international network of Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) organizations will host a briefing on the status of the negotiations for the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement in Brussels on the 4th of July, 2019. This meeting will outline the opportunities and challenges facing export-oriented businesses from multinationals to SMEs and will allow the opportunity to contribute your perspective to the process through questions and feedback. The briefing will be given by Australia’s lead negotiator, Alison Burrows, Special Negotiator EU-FTA, Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

The common website www.abie.eu  is an excellent platform to share information internationally and has been well received by members across Europe.

GABC Board members Sabine Pittrof and  Eberhard Goihl attended the meeting and summarized it as a well-structured and very effective base for further activities.

 

AGM 2019- Frankfurt, March 2019

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the German Australian Business Council e.V. was held at the Adina Frankfurt Westend on Tuesday, the 19th of March 2019.

The Chair of the Board, Sabine Pittrof, gave a review of 2018 which had been a year of changes and challenges for the Council on various levels. In that context, we were able to deliver 19 events, maintain our membership base, and contribute a submission to the Trade Sub-Committee of the Australian Parliament regarding opportunities for SMEs.

In 2019, the Council will focus on two core themes of Free Trade Agreement and Digitalisation which will guide our events strategy. This will be supplemented by a new communications plan led by board member Kiki Loukas.

Eberhard Goihl, Treasurer of the German Australian Business Council, outlined the current financial status and highlighted significant improvement on our account receivables. Our 2019 budget includes increased expenditure on event support and website enhancement in order to improve our membership engagement.

The AGM attendees also discussed the potential introduction of new membership models to enhance our value proposition for members. In addition, there were some updates and suggestions for the attraction of younger, next-generation members.

The board thanked Sabine for her dedicated leadership and Eberhard for his fiduciary diligence.

The evening concluded with interactive Australian business trivia and networking over drinks and refreshments.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our corporate member and AGM sponsor Adina Apartment Hotels for their warm and generous hospitality.