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The Big Picture San Diego Blog

Germany Trade Mission 2019

October 21, 2019

Meetings with European Central Bank, Siemens, IBM, BMW and more to lay groundwork for long-term growth for San Diego

San Diego – Ahead of the U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union, World Trade Center San Diego, the international affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, is leading a delegation to Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. The trade mission will lay the groundwork for San Diego companies to develop long-term business relationships with the European market.

With the launch of Lufthansa’s non-stop service from San Diego to Frankfurt and a shift in economic power resulting from Brexit, Germany will become an increasingly important trade and investment partner for San Diego,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “If San Diego wants to be recognized as a global economic player, it is important that we continue to show up and develop partnerships with markets that buy our goods and invest in our economy.”

Germany is currently the fourth-largest economy in the world, and is increasingly becoming one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to data collected by World Trade Center San Diego, German-based companies, including Kontron, Evotec and BioNTech, directly employ more than 2,700 individuals in San Diego.

The trade mission will focus on three key subject areas:

  • Best practices in mobility, transportation and smart cities – Amid discussions about the future of transportation in San Diego, the delegation will explore technologies, best practices and strategic partnerships in mobility, the internet of things and smart cities through visits to Siemens, BMW and IBM’s cutting-edge Watson Lab. Additionally, through a visit to the House of Logistics & Mobility in Frankfurt, the delegation will learn a bit more about Frankfurt’s world-class transportation system.
  •  Strengthening global life sciences partnerships – Like San Diego, Munich has become a hub for life sciences and biotech. Following a visit to BioM and the world-renowned Max Planck Institutes, German-based Evotec and the site lead from Takeda’s San Diego office will expand on a partnership that will benefit San Diego’s life sciences ecosystem.
  • Reinforcing global ties in a post-Brexit economy – Through meetings with the European Central Bank and the U.S. Consulates General in Frankfurt and Munich, the delegation will explore the gravitational shift in global trade while developing relationships with the experts responsible for evaluating trade policy.

Delegates will participate in upwards of 13 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many industry verticals. The 20 -San Diego delegates include representatives from Takeda California, Qualcomm, General Atomics, Cubic Transportation Systems and more. Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the Port of San Diego and more.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty – particularly in the European Union – World Trade Center San Diego conducts trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. Previously, World Trade Center San Diego led trade missions to Vancouver, London and Tokyo, which enabled startups Forge Therapeutics and to expand their global operations.

This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinGermany.

Download B-roll of Frankfurt/Munich here.

About World Trade Center San Diego World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by cultivating a pipeline of export-ready firms here in San Diego, maximizing foreign investment opportunities and boosting San Diego’s global profile abroad.


October 8, 2019
In celebration of the region’s global competitiveness, WTC hosted the #SDgoesglobal reception on Monday, September 30, at Farmer & the Seahorse in Torrey Pines.  The reception, sponsored by Lufthansa, marked the kick-off event for WTC San Diego’s Germany Trade Mission taking place in October.  
The reception was attended by Germany Trade Mission delegates, previous delegates from WTC San Diego trade missions to Vancouver, London, and Japan, as well as local MetroConnect companies. Nikia Clarke, Ph.D. Executive Director of WTCSD, opened the program by highlighting the important role that partner organizations play in assisting the regional #SDgoesglobal effort led by WTC San Diego. Martina Hupach and Kiana Sabet with Lufthansa Group discussed the strength of San Diego’s global competitiveness as a result of the region’s partnership with Lufthansa Group since 2017. 
Over the last four years, WTC San Diego has worked closely with its global partners to plan strategic trade missions to international cities with close economic ties to San Diego. Thanks to a new direct flight service from San Diego to Frankfurt offered by Europe’s only five-star airline, Lufthansa, it’s perfect timing for a group of senior local business, academic, and government leaders to be visiting Germany.
The upcoming trade mission to Frankfurt and Munich, Germany from October 21-25 will feature events, tours and meetings focused on intelligent mobility, smart cities, and precision health—sectors that are vital to the future of San Diego’s economy. 
For more information on the upcoming Germany Trade Mission and WTC San Diego’s global connectivity, contact Jesse Gipe at