Orientation and exchange in turbulent times / “Diversification of markets” required
In a new start after the pandemic, GlobalConnect, the Forum for Export and Internationalization, brought economic policy, market executives and companies into conversation about the future of the German export industry, in particular the Baden-Württemberg export industry, at Messe Stuttgart.
Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut MdL, Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg, stressed at the opening the need to think about new trade patterns in view of the volatile framework conditions in world trade. “Diversification of markets is the order of the day.” Unilateral dependencies should be avoided and new markets should be opened up. “If there is a suitable time for GlobalConnect, then it is now,” said the minister.
In the 40 panels and program modules of the event, around 150 market experts and entrepreneurs shared current assessments of global developments. GlobalConnect also enabled the approximately 800 participants to receive individual consultations on concrete projects in foreign business. The dialogue with the visitors was sought by exhibitors who presented their services and possibilities of support in the markets. This also included representatives of foreign chambers of commerce who advised on 51 different country markets. The eight worldwide German Centres and, for the first time, the economic representative offices of Baden-Württemberg were also present. The organizers welcomed delegations from Kosovo, with the participation of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, as well as representatives from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
After a four-year forced break, finally forum for export and internationalization again.
Photo credits: Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH
“Volatile framework conditions”
The extensive overall program of GlobalConnect was a joint effort of several partners. In addition to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg, the Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Handwerk International as well as the State Agency Baden-Württemberg International and the Enterprise Europe Network also contributed to the individual events. Furthermore, Umwelttechnik BW presented a new internationalization study.
The biennial Forum for Export and Internationalization, which was able to take place again for the first time after a four-year forced break in 2022, focused on the current challenges and effects of geopolitical changes for the German economy. The Economic Congress deals with current challenges for companies, such as international and sustainable supply chains and their risk management, as well as the dangers of cybersecurity. The update on the most important individual country markets for the Baden-Württemberg export industry was an important part of GlobalConnect. Eastern Europe, Great Britain after Brexit, USA and China were dedicated to their own events. Claudia Döttinger, member of the Executive Board at Messe Stuttgart, is pleased: “The adapted format of the event is well received by participants from 43 nations. A day on which you can inform yourself comprehensively about all areas of foreign trade and network with other participants. This spirit is fun.”
Opportunity continent Africa
GlobalConnect set its own accent with the 3. Africa Summit. Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut stressed at the opening that Africa has the potential to become the “biggest global growth engine” with its all-African free trade area. Medium-sized companies from Baden-Württemberg could also play a shaping role in the dynamic development of the continent. Know-how from Germany is in demand in urbanization and renewable energies. Africa therefore remains a focus of Baden-Württemberg’s foreign trade promotion. Experts and entrepreneurs exchanged views on several topics such as the energy industry, the agri-food industry as well as on the mobility and automotive sector. The young population and also a lively startup scene are a good prerequisite for cooperation and investment.
Sustainability, a central economic goal of the EU, as well as the global opportunities for greentech “made in Baden-Württemberg” were also topics of the congress – as well as the posting of employees to other EU countries and the problem of the shortage of skilled workers. The Baden-Württemberg Customs Forum, organized by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Baden-Württemberg, offered information and a knowledge update for export and import managers as well as specialists and executives in international sales.
Global Minds – Encouragement of internationalization
In the run-up to GlobalConnect, nine entrepreneurs had campaigned “GlobalMinds” for the continuation of the successful model of internationalization. In video clips and in detailed interviews, they reported on how they deal with the current challenges in their companies. Whether start-up, craft company, small medium-sized company or established “global player” – the opportunities and irreversibility of internationalization were emphasized in all discussions. At the end of GlobalConnect, Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut thanked the companies for encouraging internationalization even in turbulent times.
Multimedia and with live switching, GlobalConnect showed its modern side.
Photo credits: Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH