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.


Farewell Dinner for GABC Patron, Richard Leather- Frankfurt, March 2019

GABC members and friends came together for this informal event to honour Richard Leather, Consul General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe. Richard has been GABC patron for last two years and an active member, providing ideas and impulses and helping to bring the GABC forward. Richard and guests enjoyed a three-course dinner at Enoteca InCantina, which serves high quality food and wine from Italia’s Emilia Romagna region.

GABC Christmas Reception with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra-Frankfurt, Dec 2018

The German Australian Business Council celebrated the festive season in Frankfurt with an evening reception at the Australian Consul-General’s residence on the 6th of December, 2018. We were delighted to welcome representatives of the Sydney Symphony orchestra: CEO Emma Dunch, Director of Artistic Planning, Raff Wilson, and Director of External Affairs, Lizzi Nicholl to the event in conjunction with the 2018 Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s European Tour.

Members and Friends enjoyed the opportunity to network and celebrate the year’s achievements over a buffet dinner. Special thanks also goes to GABC Members Liz Holland and Oliver Schmidt who donated two tickets to the Melbourne Cup Carnival for a Christmas raffle.

The evening was a fitting end to a productive year of events.

Australia Day Breakfast Briefing: The EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement Negotiations-Frankfurt, January 2019

The German Australian Business Council kicked off 2019 with an event with Jason Collins, CEO of the European Australian Business Council, updating our members and friends on the current status of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Jason set the context with a general economic outlook for Australia and its bilateral relationship with Europe before delving into the core tenets of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations. There was much discussion around the table of the potential impact on the flow of services, investment, and people.

This event was the first of our series on the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement. There will be another update with the Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) network in July.

In the meantime, here are some links for additional information on the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement:



Melbourne Cup Reception- Frankfurt, November 2018

On the 6th of November 2018, members and friends of the German Australian Business Council gathered at the Mantis Roofgarden in Frankfurt to embrace the essence of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Guests enjoyed an Aussie-style BBQ buffet combined with numerous alcoholic beverages while delightfully socializing within the wonderfully lit atmospheric venue.

Congratulations to Oliver Schmidt who was the lucky winner of our sweepstake, tickets for two from the VRC to the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2019. Other stylish winners for the best dressed male and female were: Mr Robert Retz and Mrs Claudia Enke who were presented with a 50€ gift voucher kindly sponsored by the Australien Shop Frankfurt.

The German Australian Business Council expresses great appreciation to our generous sponsors and partners for this successful evening: Aesop, Australien Shop Frankfurt, Victoria Racing Club and Visit Victoria.




GABC Christmas Celebration- Munich, December 2018

On Tuesday, the 11th of December, the Munich Chapter of the German Australian Business Council enjoyed an early Christmas dinner at Zum Straubinger. With cheer abounding, we were joined by 15 members and friends to celebrate 2018. The evening was capped off was some spirited Eisstockschießen competition and Gluhwein with both the red and blue teams performing very well!

We thank all those who have been a part of the German Australian Business Council Events in Munich this year and wish everyone a Guten Rutsch into 2019!

GABC / IBCM Business Networking Event – Munich Global and Transatlantic Trade Update

The German Australian Business Council together with the International Business Council Munich was delighted to present an update by Professor Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr on the ‘Global and Transatlantic Trade Situation’. The event was held in Munich on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr is one of Germany’s very top global trade experts. Given the recent heated rounds of political discussions on trade and looming tariffs, this was certainly a highly informative and insightful discussion. Having recently received inside information from the recent G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Prof Felbermayr changed the title of his presentation to ‘The Return of the Trade Warriors’.

More than 50 participants from various international associations attended the presentation and  subsequent discussion moderated by GABC member Larry Schulz. A buffet dinner with the opportunity to make new contacts concluded the enjoyable evening.

The International Business Council Munich (IBCM), a business networking forum that brings together members of 16 international business organizations active in the Munich area, was launched in 2017.  The IBCM’s mission is “to combine the strengths of the participating IBCM groups in joining for business events of mutual interest and in addressing topics of common interest.  An umbrella organization, the IBCM provides an organizational interface, supports the sharing of ideas, facilitates making new business contacts, and stimulates learning.”


The slides from Prof Felbermayr’s presentation can be viewed in the file below:



German Australia Business Council represented at the EU Australia Senior Leaders Forum

German Australian Business Council Board Members, The Hon. André Haermeyer and Sabine Pittrof attended the EU-Australia Senior Leaders Forum in Brussels. Sponsored by the EU and supported by the Australian government, the Forum brought together European and Australian leaders to discuss a wide range of topics concerning today’s world, ranging from geo-political challenges to digitalisation, environment and the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Australia. The Forum provided an excellent opportunity for leaders from both continents to exchange information and learn from each other’s experience.

The photos show Board Members with Patron emeritus David Ritchie (below) and a group shot of the German delegates to the Forum in the Brussels Town Hall (cover photo).




AHK Australia Breakfast- Frankfurt, October 2018

On 2 October 2018, the German Australian Business Council invited members and friends to an exclusive breakfast briefing in Frankfurt with Ms Alexandra Voss, Executive Director of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Australia).

Prior to her appointment as the new AHK Executive Director earlier this year, Ms Voss was the Chief Representative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce and Managing Director of the German Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

The AHK Australia, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, has over 40 years of experience and a competent team of experts and partners who can deal with all facets of the Australian market.

The event provoked lively discussion over an enjoyable German breakfast.