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Chambers of Commerce Abroad: the ticket to international business

Germany is an export champion: last year, German companies exported goods worth about 952 billion euro. Her most important trade partners are the states of the European Union – especially France – and Asian countries. But companies can only be successful in international business if they have active local representation.

This is where the support of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) comes into play. They help German companies abroad to forge business links, develop a local base and familiarise themselves with the country and its people.

Active in 80 countries

There have been German Chambers of Commerce Abroad for more than 100 years. Today, you can find them in 80 countries around the globe. They are engaged in promoting German foreign trade in general but, in some cases, actually act on behalf of individual entrepreneurs. For example, AHK staff prepare market information on products, target groups and prices and also research potential business partners and distributors.

Wide-ranging service

One of the AHK’s important sources of income are the services they offer companies locally and in Germany. These include tailored advice on turnover, provided by their own economic experts, which enables companies to assess the strengths of their product or service and their potential on the respective foreign market. AHKs recommend suitable buyers and prepare corporate profiles. They outline distribution channels, organise dedicated discussions with decision-makers in a particular sector and provide overviews of the relevant fairs, associations and trade journals.

AHK professionals also translate and revise the respective company’s purchase agreements, chaperone business meetings and provide assistance if things don’t go quite according to plan. Depending on how comprehensive a service they offer, this will cost the company several thousand euro, but it is often worth every cent. State-of-the-art information is the golden ticket to the export trade.

Work placement opportunities abroad

Incidentally, many Chambers of Commerce Abroad offer work experience placements for economists, advanced law students and young professionals. Visit the AHK website for further information.

AHK website

July 2011

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