The message from the Welsh Government’s Minister for International Relations Eluned Morgan at the start of a 2 day visit to the country.
The minister will meet with government and industry representatives in Berlin and Düsseldorf to reinforce the relationship Wales has built up with Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe.
The strength of ties with Germany cannot be understated:
- Germany is Wales’s top export destination – with the value of Welsh exports standing at £3.1 billion in 2018;
- There are an estimated 90 German-owned companies with a presence in Wales, employing just under 12,000 people;
- Germany is the second largest source of international students into Wales, behind only China.
- 87,000 German tourists visit Wales each year.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Eluned Morgan said:
“Germany is our most important economic partner in Europe and in the last year alone we have opened up offices in Berlin and Düsseldorf. We refuse to let whatever happens with Brexit harm our strong relationship
“We are working with partners across the UK to urge the UK Prime Minister to change course, and abandon the reckless pursuit of a no deal Brexit.
“I am travelling to Germany today with a clear message to our German friends and partners – Wales is a proud European nation and I look forward to strengthening our economic, cultural and political relationship with Germany in the years to come.”
The minister will begin her visit in Berlin. She will meet representatives of the Federal Government to promote Wales as an outward-facing, forward-thinking nation that is creative and leading the way on sustainability. She will have discussions with the Federal Government specifically about the renowned Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
She will also host a roundtable with the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, which will provide the minister with an opportunity to meet senior business representatives to gain a deeper understanding of the German perspective on Brexit.
In Düsseldorf, the minister will officially inaugurate the new Welsh Government office in North Rhein-Westphalia.
She will promote Wales’ commercial strengths particularly in technology including cyber security to industrial leaders, government representatives and local influencers with a view to increasing trade flows and inward investment.
She will also hold a meeting with key tourism media contacts to promote Wales as a tourist destination.