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Agricultural policy: “Building up global networks”

01.06.2013 - Interview

At the fifth agricultural and food industry external economic affairs day on 4 June the Federal Foreign Office aims to provide a platform for German companies to facilitate their entry into external markets. According to Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle, the goal is to improve interaction, build up a strong international network and provide reliable information on federal export promotion resources and branch-oriented services. Published in the “Agrarzeitung” on 1 June 2013.

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Germany’s agricultural and food industry is a global concern. The trademark “Germany” is a bestseller in the international agricultural and food industry. Last year Germany’s food industry, with an export volume of 32%, was a significant factor in the country’s success as an export nation.

“Globalization on a plate” and increasing international interaction within the agricultural and food industry is an important aspect of economic and cultural globalization. We all see this every day on German supermarket shelves. Wine from overseas, olive oil from southern Europe, Italian pasta and much more are now integral components of German food culture.

In the same way, German food products are available in shops throughout the world. During my trips abroad people remark time and again on the particularly high quality and popularity of German food and agricultural products. The fact that Germany is host to the world’s largest food trade fair – the ANUGA in Cologne – is a sign of the strength and international profile of the German agricultural and food industry. Over the years it has become a powerful magnet, attracting exhibitors and visitors from more than 180 countries.

We do not want to stop there. The Federal Foreign Office and our 220 embassies and consulates are strongly committed to supporting the German agricultural and food industry. Food industry companies in 16 growth markets have access to support from specialized agricultural experts at our embassies.

That is not all. At the fifth agricultural and food industry external economic affairs day on 4 June we aim to provide a platform for German companies to facilitate their entry into external markets. The goal is to improve interaction, build up a strong international network and provide reliable information on federal export promotion resources and branch-oriented services.

In my view, foreign policy and external economic affairs are inextricably linked. For this reason the Federal Foreign Office and its missions abroad see their role as service points and facilitators for German business. This applies to all branches and companies but especially to the agricultural and food industry, which is home to many small and medium-sized enterprises.

As I consider one of the central tasks of the Federal Foreign Office to be to support German businesses, I feel it is particularly important that German industry perceives us as a partner with international connections and expertise in this field. German diplomats are aware of this and are working successfully across the globe to support German companies, including those in the agricultural and food industry.

German agricultural and food enterprises are part of globalization. They belong to global networks, they export and import. At the same time they are constantly increasing their investment in new markets. Through their long-term commitment in emerging economies and developing countries, they are doing their part to promote the key benefits of our social market economy all over the world. That is something of which we can rightly be proud!

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