A decade of the Hamburg representation office in Mumbai
Hamburg has played an important role in Indian-German trade and economic relations for decades. The Port of Hamburg is the leading container port in Europe for sea trade with India and, as of 2019, had a share of 73.8% of the total sea trade volume between India and Germany.
More than 700 Hamburg companies trade with India or are active in India, some have also settled here. The interest of Indian companies in Hamburg is also growing steadily. Around 50 Indian companies – such as Tata Consultancy Services – have already settled in the Hamburg metropolitan region .
While there is enormous potential for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries, the establishment of business and other networks in India is very different from that in Germany. A heavy bureaucracy, a complex tax system, linguistic, political and cultural barriers as well as a shortage of qualified workers are just some of the obstacles that stand in the way of the full use of this network.
Precisely for this reason, the Hamburg representative office in Mumbai (HRM) was opened in 2011, which makes it easier for Hamburg companies to enter the Indian market and vice versa. An important task of the representative office is to promote the city of Hamburg in India and to support the mutual economic, cultural and academic exchange between the two countries. Lea Miram, who works as Hamburg Business Manager in the representative office, explains: “A significant part of our work is realistic expectation management. Setting achievable goals that correspond to local conditions can avoid great frustration and disappointment on both sides. “
In this context, the representative office acts as an intermediary between the two regions in order to initiate and deepen business contacts and to advise both sides on practical issues, especially in the areas of medical technology, logistics, the maritime economy, vocational training and further education – those relating to the Core industries in Hamburg. Peter Deubet, Deputy General Manager of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and Head of the Hamburg Representative Office in Mumbai, states: “The importance of India is not only increasing from an economic point of view. With a direct presence in Mumbai, we are able to increase the positive synergy effects of mutual trade between India and Hamburg. “
The representative office is funded and supported by the Hamburg Senate Chancellery, Hafen Hamburg Marketing eV, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Hamburg Invest and Hamburg Messe und Congress. In addition, as part of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai, the Hamburg representative office benefits from an excellent network and know-how.
The Indian-Hamburg connection is strengthened by various events and delegation trips in which the Hamburg representative office Mumbai is involved, such as For example, India Week Hamburg, the partnership between Hamburg and the city of Vijayawada as part of the European Commission’s International City Cooperation (IUC) program and delegation visits to WindEnergy Hamburg and SMM – an international trade fair and conference for the maritime industry. In February 2020, the HRM welcomed a 65-member delegation from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Delhi in Hamburg to discuss common aspects of international trade and international logistics. Lea Miram: “Personal encounters and on-site experiences are the glue that connects our Indian-Hamburg relationships. It is a pleasure to
In addition, the representative office has planned to set up the Mumbai Hamburg Business Forum (MHBF). The aim of this event will be to strengthen the cooperation between companies and institutions from Hamburg and India and to create a platform for the exchange and the identification of future synergies. The first MHBF is currently in the planning phase and will take place every two years alternately in Mumbai and Hamburg.
With a diverse range of tasks, HRM is the central point of contact for relations between Hamburg and India. In 2021 the representative office has existed for ten years and has made a significant contribution to promoting relations between the Hanseatic city and India. The HRM team will continue to look for innovations in both regions in the future in order to identify and promote new ideas and partnerships.