Do you have any banner examples of companies coming to Germany because of Brexit?
Scheid: It’s important to underline that most companies expand to Germany because they have growing business there, but Brexit has indeed sped up the decision-making process. BAP Pharma, for example, set up recently in Höchstädt with help from GTAI. They are investing several million euros and hiring hundreds of employees over the next five years. For them, the proximity to clients and suppliers in Germany was a key factor.
Which is more challenging: helping UK companies expand or finding answers for German companies?
Lehnfeld: The challenges are quite different. Take for example the German auto industry: companies have to examine every detail of their supply chain and deal with potential changes to customs regulations, rules of origin etc. For British companies, the question typically centers on the need to set up an office in the EU to reinforce business links after Brexit. In both scenarios, general responses are not enough. We need to ask many questions and provide precise information.
How are things evolving? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel with regards to Brexit?
Scheid: I think Winston Churchill said it best: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” It looks like we will be dealing with Brexit and its effects for a long time.