Wales looks forward to future relationship with its strongest trading partner as German Ambassador to UK visits key sites
Wales will do everything it can to continue its strong relationship with Germany – with trade links worth more than £3 billion – as the next phase of negotiations with the EU continue.
That was the message from Eluned Morgan, the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, during a visit to Wales by Dr Peter Wittig, Germany’s Ambassador to the UK.
Dr Wittig met the minister and First Minister Mark in Cardiff Bay, toured Cardiff University and also attended trade talks with Welsh Government representatives - followed by a reception for the German diaspora in Wales at Cardiff Castle.
The following day, the Ambassador visited German businesses based in North Wales, including Innogy in Mostyn, and the Airbus factory at Broughton.
Germany is one of Wales’ strongest trading partners.
2018 saw just over 18% of all Welsh goods exported outside the UK going to Germany, with a total value of more than £3 billion.
Germany is also a strong contributor to the tourism industry in Wales. After Ireland, Germany supplies the joint second-greatest number of visitors to Wales – an annual total of 87,000 visitors, according to recent figures.
This accounts for 8% of all international visits, and about 7% of total tourism spend.
Eluned Morgan, the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, said:
I was very pleased to meet Dr Wittig, and that we were able to discuss the ongoing and future relationship between Germany and Wales.
Outside of the UK, Germany is our strongest trade partner, and as such talks such as these are all-important as we continue to look at ways to mutually enhance those links between us.
As the UK leaves the EU, our position is that Wales remains open to business with its European partners.
We want to do everything we can to maintain the strong economic, cultural and trade links we have already built with a number of partner nations in the EU.
As we recently set out in our International Strategy, we are working hard to ensure that we don’t lose any of those vital connections built up with European partners, such as Germany.
We have an incredibly strong base of German businesses working in Wales and employing Welsh workers, and I was very pleased to see that Dr Wittig had the opportunity to see the work being carried out by Innogy at its Flintshire base in the Port of Mostyn, through its work on the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm project.
With an installed capacity of 576 megawatts, Gwynt y Môr is among the largest commercial offshore wind farms worldwide.
A total of 160 wind turbines produce enough electricity to supply approximately 400,000 households annually with renewable energy
Dr Wittig said:
I would like to thank the Welsh Government very much for this kind invitation.
Wales and Germany already boast deep ties in many areas – business, culture, trade and people – ties we can trust and ties we can build upon.
This should encourage us to overcome the uncertainty of the past three years – we can be bold in our ambitions and build a lasting future relationship.
Germany is the most significant export destination for Wales – with one fifth of all Welsh exports going to Germany, while German exports to Wales amounted to 3.2 billion GBP in 2018.
I can see more opportunities in many sectors – including in renewable energies, even closer academic ties, research on future industries and joint infrastructure projects.
Latest News from
First Minister: UK government putting ideology above people’s livelihoods27/02/2020 16:05:00
First Minister Mark Drakeford today warned that the UK government’s go-it-alone approach to future trade with the EU will damage the Welsh economy in a rushed bid to get a deal.
Contract awarded for £29m A55 Tai’r Meibion scheme – as North Wales transport improvements continue27/02/2020 14:05:00
Work on the A55 Aber to Tai’r Meibion improvements is set to begin in late March, North Wales Minister Ken Skates will announce today (Thursday, 27 February).
Procurex Wales and GO Awards Wales – 3 weeks to go!27/02/2020 12:43:00
We are now only 3 weeks away from Procurex Wales and GO Awards Wales, taking place on 18 March in Cardiff.
Senior staffing changes27/02/2020 11:05:00
Following the recent departure of Jonathan Hopkins, Marcella Maxwell has been appointed interim Deputy Director of Commercial Procurement in the Welsh Government.
Launch of exciting new initiative to boost nature ‘on your doorstep’26/02/2020 14:10:00
The Welsh Government launches a major new scheme today (Wednesday 26 February) which aims to empower communities to bring nature ‘to your doorstep’ and help halt and reverse the decline in nature.
Final Budget 2020 to 202126/02/2020 13:10:00
Statement by Minister for Finance and Trefnydd, Rebecca Evans AM.
Secretary of State Simon Hart and First Minister Mark Drakeford chair meeting to discuss coal tip safety26/02/2020 11:05:00
The meeting was attended by the leader of the WLGA, the Coal Authority and Natural Resources Wales.
Delivering a Digital Wales takes a step closer26/02/2020 09:05:00
The Welsh Government’s ambition to deliver a Digital Wales moves closer as Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans announces testing for a new digital public services Centre will begin.
‘Factory-made’ modular housing should be used to quickly increase supply in Wales – Julie James25/02/2020 16:05:00
Factory-made ‘modular’ housing should be used to quickly increase the number of high-quality social and affordable homes being built across Wales – part of a new Welsh Government strategy to kick-start the modern methods of construction industry, Housing Minister, Julie James will announce today.
Minister welcomes additional funding to promote Welsh red meat25/02/2020 15:28:00
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has welcomed confirmation the Britain-wide Red Meat Levy Ring-fenced Fund will increase from £2million to £3.5million next year, after agreement was reached between the Red Meat Levy boards in Wales, Scotland and England.