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Frankfurt: Open for business post-Brexit

Frankfurt has long held a reputation for being the finance capital of Continental Europe and having an attractive business environment. With barely one year before Brexit, the German city is gearing up to take up the position held by London. Frankfurt Main Finance and VDE are leading that effort. 

Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF) leverages the influence of its 40 members to position the city as among the leading financial centers and fastet-growing data centers in the world.  

FMF Managing Director Hubertus Vath

“Frankfurt is catching up. It’s second in Europe only to London and growing fast. All the big players and names are building data hubs here, because they enjoy the data protection and the security level which Frankfurt provides,” FMF Managing Director Hubertus Vath said.

Also, Frankfurt is capitalizing on its strategic location at the heart of Europe, as well as its strong innovation cluster, broad academic network and high quality of living. This favorable ecosystem has attracted many Asian companies, banks and students.

“We have a very good relationship with Asia. We believe the future belongs to Asia,” Vath also said.

Germany is by far Asia’s biggest trading partner and leads its EU neighbors in trade with China. The city has forged close relationships with its Asian financial sector players, welcoming banks and investors from Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Busan, Tokyo and Singapore.

In the field of technology, Frankfurt seeks to foster innovation not only in the city but also in Asian countries with a German presence. This is the primary goal of VDE or the Technical-Scientific Association of Electrical Engineering Electronics Information Technology.

“We are driven by technology and have the complete value chain from innovation to engineering, international standardization, testing and certification, and application at the end,” VDE CEO Ansgar Hinz said.

VDE CEO Ansgar Hinz

As one of Europe’s largest technical and scientific organization, VDE is involved in research and knowledge transfer in Germany and abroad within various emerging fields involving high-end applications, including renewable energy, IT security, mobility systems, and ICT. 

In Asia, VDE supports the testing and standardization of German firms or OEMs. The association has established innovation labs in Singapore, which houses the biggest renewable energy lab, as well as in Korea, Indonesia and China.

Apart from ensuring that components reach international, IEC standards, VDE is committed to also educating young local talent.

“We educate the future employees in the region to enable them to do the work, the testing, the certification in our labs,” Hinz said.

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Germany 2018, Pt. 2 was prepared for and originally printed in Forbes Asia magazine.

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