Entrepreneurs from Ukraine and Moldova build business contacts in Germany

To explore the business location Germany and establish as many contacts as possible with German companies, a group of 15 managers from Ukraine and three managers from Moldova visited DMAN from 10 April to 5 May 2016.

The entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized companies participated in the qualification programme Fit for Partnership with Germany. This manager training programme, which was installed in 1998, is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and coordinated by GIZ.

The participants had prepared very well for their stay in Germany and they were highly motivated. The group consisted mainly of directors and company owners. This made the business negotiations much easier, because the German contacts could negotiate directly with the decision-makers.

Contacts were also established within the group, since different industries were represented: IT and telecommunications, electronics, measuring technology, automotive, renewable energies, building services (gas, electricity, heating, water), logistics, chemicals, printing and furniture.

This resulted in a mix interests and objectives. The spectrum ranged from the desire to buy or trade German goods, to selling their own products. Many entrepreneurs offered their services to the German partners or wanted to establish joint ventures with German companies. Often these projects failed, however, due to the lack of standards or certifications. Regarding these aspects, the programme could offer valuable support.

During the training sessions and especially during the company visits, the young managers had ample opportunity to become familiar with the business requirements in Germany and the EU. In their discussions, they repeatedly expressed their impression that intercultural understanding was essential for contact building and business negotiations.

There was plenty of room to build business contacts during the group visits or the individual company visits. Especially Hannover Messe offered great opportunities to collect information, compare products and services, and get in touch with new contacts. Undoubtedly a highlight in the program!

For some participants, it was not the first visit to Germany, but one of their most successful stays. For other participants, the training programme in Celle convinced them to put the focus of their foreign trade activities on Germany. We are looking forward to the results of these plans, which we will see at the follow-up meeting next year.