DC Executive Club
Executive Club: more topics, more substance

This year’s Diplomatic Council Executive Club contained more variety and substance according to those members who attended.

Dr. Horst Walther provided a summary on the global political, economic and military climate. His in-depth analysis: more and more the focus has shifted to The Group of Two (G2) – China versus USA; adding Russia one could talk about G3; however, G7, G8 or even G20 loses relevance.

Andreas Neumann explains: the United States of America with more than 18 trillion US Dollars are still the world’s largest economy. This fact as well as the business-oriented economy policy still makes the USA one of the most attractive markets for European companies.

Irene Ho informed that Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and presented the business opportunities for this region. In light of the unpredictable G2 trade war, the Southeast Asian markets becomes more significant for European companies.

“Whether in Asia, Europe, USA or anywhere else in the world – nothing would work without smart and advanced logistics” says Melanie Prinz. Today’s logistics faces tremendous challenges: the trade war between USA and China, punitive tariffs, the new silk road, labour shortages, worsening payment practice, new compliance rules and renewable energies – just to mention a few.

No matter which markets you are trying to enter – you should better familiarize yourself with the respective market – this was Franck Mathot’s advice. Franck makes clear how market intelligences gives answers to the core questions. What will the future bring? What changes are ahead of us? How will competition change? And how will competitors prepare themselves?

In times of Facebook, Twitter and WeChat markets can be entered quite easily without much effort and good business can be done on a global scale, says Thomas Gronenthal. A social media campaign in Asia or North America raises interests of potential clients; a well-designed website may lead to a business deal and logistics is handled by international logistics partners.

Wolfgang Odenthal provided deep insights into the brand-new 5G-technology and its impacts. G5 is more than just technology – it is about money, espionage, the fifth industrial revolution, self-driving cars and last but not least our health. Wolfgang clearly pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of G5.

Steef Korfker and Luciën Tjon presented a new Smart City Initiative. The increasing environmental regulations and the new “green wave” in Europe accelerate the ambitions for smart cities which is supposed to offer many benefits to the population on the one hand and at the same time addresses the ideas for environmental protection in a more efficient way.

Gunter Gaublomme, Director of the Brussel Diplomatic Academy (BDA) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel presented the various aspects of economic diplomacy in a vivid manner. Following his profound explanations, one thing became obvious: In an economic-driven world the demand for Economic Diplomacy is more evident than ever before.

In addition to the interesting presentations, a long coffee break provided the opportunity for all members to get to know each better and hence establish new or deepen existing relationships.