Ten years ago Germany opened its first trade representative offices in the Baltic states. Since then, German companies have shown increasing interest in the area, and the need to better serve these interests led to the foundation of the German Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK) earlier this year.
On March 1 the chamber was established in Berlin by representatives from German, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian companies. AHK is a private association established for its members that carries out functions of the bilateral German trade mission. Essentially the German trade offices in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius merged with the German business associations in Latvia and Lithuania to form a new entity with approximately 250 members under the presidency of Dr. Gunter Dunkel, a member of the managing board of Nord/LB bank.
AHK is supported by the German Ministry of Economy and the German Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
In celebration of the new beginning, official festivities were held on Aug. 23 in Tallinn, then in Riga the following day and in Vilnius on Aug. 25. Rezzo Schlauch, the parliamentary state secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Labor, was present, while high-ranking Baltic guests included Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas.
By merging the three representative offices in the Baltics and the two German business associations in Latvia and Lithuania, companies interested in these two dynamic areas will have one partner in the future. AHK now comprises both a membership organization (representing members' interests and serving them with information, seminars and social events of any kind) and a service organization, assisting all clients and members who want to do business (with information, publication, contacts to local companies and authorities) in the Baltics and/or in Germany.
With offices in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, and a qualified team of 25 employees, AHK is the only bilateral organization covering both Germany and the Baltics. Thus it can also provide services for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian companies interested in the market of a particular neighboring Baltic state and vice versa.
Through the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce is part of the world-wide network of 120 German bilateral chambers abroad.
Contact number of the chamber`s office in Tallinn: (372) 627-6940, in Riga: (371) 732-0718 and in Vilnius: (370) 521-311-22.