On Monday, July 3rd, BGA cooperation partner CWHR, the Club of Economic and Commercial Counsellors, conducted an exclusive briefing on the international economic implications of Germany’s new National Security Strategy. BGA and the CWHR enjoy a close cooperation, with BGA Managing Partner Ralf Welt lending support to the Club as member of the board. BGA expert insight was provided by Managing Partner Martin Wiesmann with a keynote speech and BGA Senior Advisor Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven as a panelist. We thank the Embassy of Mexico, with chargé d’affaires Dr Alejandro Rivera-Becerra, and CWHR Vice President and First Secretary Oliver Contla, for their kind hospitality. We were particularly happy to be joined by Sofía Carvajal Isunza Vice President of the Mexican-German Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Mr Christoph Seemann from the Federal Foreign Office provided a much-appreciated overview of the strategy, stating that:
“The German National Security Strategy entails an integrated security approach building on economic resilience. Maintaining the EU’s competitiveness and openness by intensifying existing as well as building new international partnerships are at the core of this approach to cope with current geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges.”
BGA Managing Partner Martin Wiesmann, former Vice Chairman investment banking EMEA at J.P. Morgan and Senior Associate Fellow for Geoeconomics at the German Council on Foreign Relations, provided a geoeconomic perspective:
“The NSS recognizes that the very foundations of the German social market economy model are threatened: open markets driving growth and open access to critical resources are no longer a given, and equally societal consensus about rules and principles of our democracy is increasingly under pressure. However, despite the challenges the new realities bring about, Germany will strive to remain amongst the world’s most interconnected economies.
Following the two impulses, a spirited panel discussion took place, moderated by CWHR Vice President Oliver Contla.
Wolfgang Niedermark, Member of the BDI’s Executive Board contributed an industry perspective to the panel, criticizing the lack of forward-looking action envisioned in the strategy:
“The BDI welcomes the Strategy’s focus on integrated security, embracing its social, defense and economic dimensions. It is especially a major step forward that it recognizes the link between national security and economic security. In general, however, the strategy falls short of BDI’s expectations. As a matter of fact, the strategy is not really a strategy, but rather a diagnosis of existing challenges. What is missing are ways in which Germany intends to deal with them.”
Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, Germany’s former Ambassador to Poland and former NATO Assistant Secretary General, articulated a more optimistic perspective:
“The NSS is not about de-coupling, but about de-risking and diversification. It thus opens the way to new partnerships with countries and regions, far and near.“
Dr Christina Krause, Head of Department International and Security Affairs at the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, completed the panel in building on her view articulated in a recent piece for the foundation (Link), noting that:
“The German National Security Strategy (NSS) is an important step for a more coherent policy. It describes continuity as well as major shifts. Because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine a focus on hard security issues is necessary. Challenges, risks and threats are specified; ten strategies are to follow. The NSS as well as the following strategies will have an impact on international economic cooperation. “
As always, we appreciated the thoughtful and interesting exchange with Berlin’s economic diplomats and look forward to the next CWHR events to come. You can find more information about the CWHR, as well as on upcoming CWHR events and membership options here.
If you are interested in enriching discussion and debate within your organization with input or a briefing by Mr Wiesmann, Dr Freytag von Loringhoven or another of our partners and advisors, please find our Keynote Speakers program here.