Mayor welcomes US delegation
Global Cities Initiative (GCI)
Munich's Mayor Dieter Reiter held a reception at the city hall for a delegation from the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) at the start of a three-day working visit. More than 100 representatives of the political and business communities and various associations were in attendance. Taking Bavaria and Munich as examples, the North American visitors plan first and foremost to investigate the industrial innovation landscape and the German dual system of vocational education.
In his welcome address, Mayor Dieter Reiter was very pleased that the organizers of the Global Cities Initiative had chosen the Munich region as the venue for its three-day agenda. "This underscores the high esteem in which the Munich economic area and its innovative capacity are held in the USA", Reiter noted. He emphasized the excellent economic relationship that exists between Bavaria and the USA, which is the Free State's biggest foreign market. An export rate in excess of 70 percent makes the Bavarian capital very heavily dependent on its performance abroad.
In his words of welcome, US Consul-General William Moeller highlighted the ties between Bavaria and the USA that have grown up over many years, and that were instrumental in driving the Free State's economic success after the Second World War. He noted that, back then, numerous immigrants and companies – including Siemens – had come from all over Germany to the American-occupied zone to help with the work of rebuilding. This fact, he said, was instrumental in Bavaria's transformation from an agrarian state to a high-tech hub.
Delegation represents several US metropolitan regions –
Agenda includes visits to companies in Nuremberg and Munich
The 60-person delegation was led by Richard M. Daley, former mayor of Chicago – a position he held for more than 20 years. Alongside mayors from two cities in Kentucky (Louisville and Lexington), representatives of economic development agencies and research organizations in Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland and San Diego also travelled to Munich.
A visit to a Siemens' facility in Nuremberg was complemented by tours and round-table discussions – focused on vocational education and the promotion of innovation – at two medium-sized companies in and around Munich.
Some 600 US companies have a presence – and in many cases their European or German headquarters – in Munich. The Bavarian capital is also a popular destination for US citizens: More than 6,300 Americans live in Munich; and more than 700,000 overnight stays make visitors from the US the city's biggest foreign tourist group.
The Global Cities Initiative is a joint project of The Brookings Institution, a respected think-tank based in Washington D.C., and US bank JP Morgan Chase. Over a five-year period, studies, international workshops and networks launched within the framework of the initiative will help cities and metropolitan regions in the USA to become more globally competitive, especially in industrial manufacturing.