His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uzbekistan was the honorary speaker at the November Monthly Meeting.
Introductory remarks were made by Hugo Minderhoud, AmCham Treasurer, member of the Board of Directors, and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Kingdom of Belgium.
His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing, gave an extensive review of the business climate and economic situation in Germany, as well as an overview of present ties and options for the future development of bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Germany.
The question “Why do business with Germany?” was thoroughly covered. Germany is the fourth largest economy, third largest exporter, and third largest importer in the world. Germany is also Europe’s largest market with 21% of EU GDP. The main reasons for Germany’s economic successes are its the large number of small and medium sized enterprises, as well as extensive investment in research and development (ranked 4th worldwide), which annually contributes 80 bln Euros. The secured investment environment is supported by a robust legal system with well protected intellectual property rights, a stable social environment, one of the most competitive tax systems among industrialized countries, low corruption, and many other positive aspects of a healthy investment climate, which were all discussed in the presentation by His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing.
One of the problems reviewed is Germany’s excessive energy consumption. A top priority is to cut energy consumption by half while at the same time maintaining solid economic growth. Germany also has a goal to cut CO2 emissions by 80% and to increase the share of renewable energy to 60% of total energy consumption.
Renewable energy is one of the many areas of Uzbek-German cooperation. There are several wind and solar energy projects in Uzbekistan which are being implemented in cooperation with German partners.
His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing expects that the business relations between Uzbekistan and Germany will continue to grow. As of today there are 60 organizations with German interests in Uzbekistan. These include the German-Uzbek Business Council, German Trade and Investment Chamber, and German Chamber of Commerce, all which support and promote further business ties between Germany and Uzbekistan. There is also the Manager Training Programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under which Uzbek managers have visited Germany. Every year about 1500 students travel from Uzbekistan to study in German universities. His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uzbekistan, expects this number will continue to grow.
Participants who joined the event also took part in a question and answer session followed by a social and cocktail hour.