What is your background and how did you join GTAI?
Emilio Brahmst: After studying engineering in Berlin, I went to Detroit to work as a consultant in the automotive industry. I analyzed many manufacturing processes at domestic auto makers and their suppliers while at the University of Michigan and later at two other employers. After 10 years, it was time to move on. I started an MBA program in Chicago, and I got in contact with Germany Trade and Invest, which was looking for a candidate to cover the automotive sector. It was a perfect fit, and I think it is a strength of our service that we have strong industry expertise in the sectors we consult in.
What are the key industries in your region for foreign direct investment?
Brahmst: The American Midwest is generally characterized by strong manufacturing, food and service sectors. We also have several clusters. For example, most domestic car makers and their suppliers are headquartered in Michigan. Chicago is the third largest metro area in the U.S. and home to a variety of very large corporations that represent a cross-section of our industries. Interestingly, I tend to find most investors in areas where Germany is strong as well, such as advanced manufacturing.
What information do companies seek about Germany?
Brahmst: Many of our clients are small- to mid-size companies and they usually need information on how to establish and run a business in Germany. As a result, we dispense a variety of information on these topics. Some companies also seek industry- specific information in order to complement their own analysis. Also important is our site selection service where we work with the investor and with our partners in Germany on the state or city level to find the best possible investment location.