The German American Business Chamber of Central Florida recently hosted a cocktail reception for local business leaders at the offices of Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. in Orlando.
The evening’s special guest, Consul General Annette Klein of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Miami, met with Carl Christian Thier, President of the GABC in Central Florida and Honorary Vice Consul of the Republic of Austria. Many members and non-members of the GABC attended the event as well.
The Consul General took the opportunity to explain the official duties of the Consulate, which include advising German citizens on matters relating to citizenship, potential visa requirements, setting up businesses in the US and other matters relating to Germany’s role as a global player on the international stage. As trays of cocktails and appetizers were passed among the guests, Ms. Klein used the event to engage the crowd of approximately 30 members of the Orlando business community.
She talked about some of the lesser known duties of the German Consulate:
- finding partners in the growing field of energy, climate and the environment,
- utilizing the Consulate as a resource when travelling abroad and
- reaching out to American students to consider taking advantage of Germany’s free secondary education.
The first topic is especially vital in these controversial times when investment in clean energy is a political hot topic both in Europe and in the US. German companies are very keen on renewable resources and sustainability.
Their engineering expertise in manufacturing energy sources such as wind farms and solar cell technology, especially, are seen as an ideal match for manufacturers in the Sunshine State.
Consular resources are well known to the German traveler who knows to reach out when crisis strikes while abroad, be it a medical emergency, unexpected death or a lost passport.
American travelers by contrast, are less inclined to seek out their Consulate while abroad, according to Ms. Klein.
Germany’s current system of free secondary education for all is one that is not widely known here in the US because most Americans cannot comprehend that a taxpayer-funded college education would be provided for free.
It is Germany’s core belief that education is one of the most important, sustaining investments a nation can make into its youth. Economic cooperation between Germany and the US has a foundation built on decades and is sure to weather the uncertainties in the current political climate.