Alumni Form Partnerships

Programme graduates from Russia and Germany met on 29 July 2020 as part of the German-Russian Business Talks. At the event, they gave the starting signal for a close cooperation. In the future, partnerships will, for example, facilitate access to other markets.

Under the heading "Alumni for Alumni: Ideas and Opportunities for Cooperation", more than 120 graduates of the Manager Training Programme and the "Fit for Business with Russia" programme met online as part of the second stage of the German-Russian Business Talks. The most important result of the day was the agreement to establish regional partnerships. In the future, there will be contact people for specific regions of Russia who will provide a consultant or expert to German entrepreneurs on request and put them in contact with the Russian economy. Conversely, Russian entrepreneurs will be able to contact specific people through their alumni network, who in turn will be able to answer questions about the German market.

"This type of cooperation will bring interested enterprises closer together," said MP alumna Natalie Wenzel, who presented the project. "This is a real boost for the alumni work," added Andreas Steinborn, Chairman of the German-Russian Management Network (DRMN), the alumni association of the "Fit for Business with Russia" programme. Many alumni have a professional interest in a particular Russian region, while others have completed the "Fit for Business with Russia" programme there or are linked by family roots. The idea was fresh, but one has to "start small in order to move on to bigger things later", the graduates all agreed.

At the German-Russian Business Talks, German and Russian programme graduates met to discuss ideas and possibilities for cooperation. Vladislav Belov (a GIZ expert) chaired the conference.

In addition to regional cooperation with the Russian alumni associations, the German alumni can also imagine industry and thematic based cooperation projects in the future. Entrepreneur Nina Schütz proposed the creation of a working group to deal with current developments in the foundry industry in both countries. A major point of discussion was also the virtual collaboration, something which the event participants see as a great opportunity due to the current Corona crisis. The third part of the German-Russian Business Talks, which will be held on 26 August, will provide the opportunity to flesh out the cooperation ideas.

The German-Russian Business Talks are an annual joint event of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Bonn and the GIZ and serve as a platform for exchange between entrepreneurs from both countries. 2020 will be the first time that the talks will take place online and as a three-part series.