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EACC Behind the Scenes - June 2018

Building Global Relationships
Last week I was in Chicago to connect with potential European partners for our work here to stimulate business and networking relations between the Cincinnati Tri-State region and Europe.  It was a great opportunity to rekindle partnerships with those who fondly remembered our former Executive Director Anne Cappel and to begin to build new ones.  There was a great appreciation both for our initiative in reaching out and a recognition that the opportunities in the Cincinnati Tri-State were not to be ignored.  
A number of topics were consistently raised across meetings.  Of course, there was a general sense of concern about U.S. trade policy and the longer-term impact that could have on bilateral trade and investment strategies.  Our European Investment Map continues to generate great interest, as does the thought that Cincinnati might be selected as a host city for the 2026 World Cup.  And while we are well known for aerospace and automotive, the EACC’s focus on Water Technology also sparked lots of thinking about potential avenues of cooperation.  Below I’ve quickly listed the meetings I had with just a few words about the content, if you have questions or suggestions for follow-up, please let me know.
  • German American Chamber of Commerce (Mark Tompkins, President) and German Consulate General (Dr. Andreas Götze, Deputy Consul General:  In addition to lamenting Germany’s loss to Mexico in opening round of the World Cup, we talked about promoting German-style apprenticeship programs to address workforce needs, and also about Hannovermesse USA in September 2018, the first of its kind here in the United States.
  • IDA Ireland (Patrick Gaule, VP, and Caroline Comstock, Marketing Analyst): Particular interest in the life sciences industry in our region
  • Business France (Laurence Grelet, Managing Director):  How can we use educational partnerships like AESOP between UC and the Unversity of Bordeaux to drive stronger business partnerships?
  • Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (Sander Scholten, Director):  Helping U.S. exporters get a foothold in Europe as a first step to investing there
  • Olavi Göös, Honorary Consul of Finland:  Helping with introductions to Business Finland and to Slush organizers
  • Spanish Consulate General and Trade Commission (Federico Palomera, Consul General, and Javier Yraola, Trade Commissioner):  Spain’s leading role in infrastructure development, both in engineering, design and construction and in innovative financing mechanisms (and the 7/26 International Friendly between FC Cincinnati and RCD Espanyol)
  • Advantage Austria (Nancy Putz, Business Development):  Opportunities in Water Technology, Chemicals, and Workforce Development
  • French Consulate General (Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General):  How to use Beaujolais Nouveau to raise profile and understanding of France, and opportunities for a senior French official to visit Cincinnati
  • Swiss American Business Council (Tom Soseman, President): Reported that Switzerland will reopen its Consulate General in Chicago later this year
  • Enterprise Ireland (Donal Cummings, Vice President): Discussed a ‘reconnaissance mission’ to Cincinnati in the early Fall
  • Netherlands Consulate General (Bianca Oudshoff, Deputy Consul General):  wants to engage Cincinnati firms directly on both water issues as well as leading companies in advanced manufacturing
  • Flanders Investment and Trade (Claude Stomp, Director): Want to better educate firms on investment opportunities in Flanders and Belgium
So there’s a lot to follow up here, but also lots of targets that were missed (UK, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) Today I’m in Detroit connecting with the Italian Trade Agency for Innovation Days, so at least I’ve got that covered.
A final point – my primary message in each of these meetings was that the EACC wants to be the “branch office” for each of these organizations in Cincinnati – so when our members have a question about Ireland or Belgium, I can pick up the phone and connect to someone who knows the EACC and is willing to help us quickly.  And of course we will reciprocate – when they have an event Cincinnati companies should know about, or a delegation that wants to visit the city, then they can call on us and know we will do our best to support them.  It’s these kinds of partnerships that make the EACC effective and impactful!

-Todd Schwartz
 Exeutive Director, EACC Greater Cincinnati

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