When was the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK) established and what is its vision and mission?
The German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK) has been established in the current form in 2009 as a bilateral non-profit business organisation. Its overarching aim is to act as a bridge between the two business communities, promoting trade and investments between Germany and the UAE.
The AHK is membership-based and steered by a corporate honorary Board of Directors. At the same time, AHK receives support from the Federal German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and acts fully complementary to the German Diplomatic Missions.
What are the main challenges that AHK faces in providing support to new German companies trying to establish a presence in the UAE and how does it surmount them?
There are hardly any challenges we could think of while talking about the business destination UAE. Honestly, it is an excellent place for establishing and running a business – which is echoed by numerous small and medium-sized German companies that recently set up businesses over here. However, I would like to stress the importance of a smooth and easy access to neighbouring markets of the region and beyond.
An ambitious trade and investment hub, like the UAE, needs to be deeply connected to the mentioned partners. We recognise the ongoing efforts of the UAE to establish further free trade agreements with important countries in the region at large. This is a great move that will help to shape the attractiveness of this country further.
How critical will the presence of AHK be in the coming years to help further strengthen the excellent collaboration that Germany and the UAE share?
We are living in difficult if not unprecedented times. Globally, we see a high pressure on input costs, on margins and supply chains alike. What really matters under these conditions is having access to a trustworthy and competent source of information. I believe that the AHK is perfectly positioned to act as an intermediary body, with its excellent access to the governments concerned, as well as the German and Emirati business community.
How has the UAE leadership helped German companies and industry contribute to the growth of the UAE economy while promoting UAE-Germany partnership?
I guess I can say on behalf of the German business community in the UAE that we always felt very welcome in this country. The German community has been constantly growing throughout the years and decades, which is a strong indicator of the excellent platform, if not home, which is provided by the UAE. Also, the establishment of our German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK) back in 2009 has been a strong sign of confidence and trust of the UAE’s leadership into the bilateral relations.
At the same time, I believe that the best is still to come. The recent visits of both Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UAE is a strong symbol of the bright future we all can expect.