Advisory board

Knowledge is good. Specialised knowledge is better.

When planning and carrying out its activities, the Import Promotion Desk can rely on the expertise of recognised specialists from industry and the relevant associations representing branches of industry. 

The competence and the experience of the advisory board help significantly in implementing the goals of the IPD successfully. Import and export promotion is a broad area. Our advisory board enables us to have an eye for details at all times and the vision to see everything that is coming. 

Members of the advisory board

Hornbach Baumarkt AG

Andreas Back

 

»Trade is all about knowing where the best sources of supply are located worldwide and to use them to offer consumers products at the best possible price-quality ratio.«

Since 2001, Andreas Back has been heading the quality and environmental management divi-sion of the Bornheim/Landau-based home-improvement chain Hornbach Baumarkt Plc. Since joining the company in 1995, Mr. Back has held positions in various areas, including in Operations and Logistics.

Since 2011, Mr. Back has been engaged as an honorary representative of the pan-German retail sector on the board of the National Register for Waste Electric Equipment (Stiftung ear). Since 2008, he has also been active as honorary spokesman for the working group Environment & CSR of the trade association DIY, Building and Garden (BHB). Between 2005 and 2009 Mr. Back was a management board member of the Economic Chamber of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Working Group Germany.

Julius Bohlmann e.K.

Ulf Bohlmann

 

»The IPD will build a bridge which will lead to a better understanding and to a more successful economic exchange between exporters from developing countries and emerging markets and importers from Germany and Europe.«

Ulf Bohlmann, who graduated in business administration, is the owner and managing director of the family-owned company H. Julius Bohlmann e.K which represents foreign Germany-based firms in the natural primary products sector. 

German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV)

Dr. Andreas Brügger

 

»Germany imports about 75% of its total fruit consumption. The IPD is the ideal tool for the consolidation of interests of development cooperation and foreign trade.«

Dr. Brügger has been managing director of the Fruit Trade Association since 1997. Holding a doctorate in agricultural economy, he worked as a scientific assistant for various members of German parliament for six years.
As an expert in wholesale and foreign trade in the agricultural sector, he is a member of different committees advising the federal government or the EU Commission. At the invitation of states, he also provides his expertise on trade missions abroad.
Dr. Brügger is a board member of the European umbrella organisation Freshfel Europe and head of the Food Safety and Sustainability committee. As lecturer in the Freshness Seminar of the DFHV, he also teaches on all subjects related to Europe and foreign trade.

Biotropic GmbH

Hans Udo Bürk

 

»Exporters from emerging markets and developing countries and importers from Europe depend on all types of support from associations, Chambers of Industry and Commerce and other BMOs. The IPD is another useful tool to bring partners from Germany and abroad together.«

Udo Bürk, an export merchant with a master’s degree in management from the Solvay Business School (Brussels), has been involved in different functions as a consultant for the production, export and import of bio-foods from South America, Africa, Asia as well as in intra-European trade since 1995, among others for the leading European importer Biotropic from Duisburg.
Prior to this position, he worked in the international construction steelwork product trade. Mr. Bürk supports exporters and importers in the fields of business development, project management, quality assurance, mediation in trade, personnel and administrative conflicts as well as the design and implementation of PPPs (Private Public Partnerships) in the agricultural sector in developing countries. He has also been trained and accredited as a business mediator in Brussels and specialises in solving intercultural/international conflicts. 

Terramar GmbH

Stefan W. Dircks

 

»Long-term trade relations between German buyers and suppliers in developing- and emerging countries support Germany’s economic success. IPD makes an important contribution to this process.«

Since 1980 Stefan W. Dircks has been active in international trade with now 22 years as CEO of Terramar GmbH in Hamburg. Terrarmar GmbH exports machines, vehicles and spare parts especially to the Middle East and to Southeast Asia.

Association of Companies participating in the Drug and Chemical Wholesale and Foreign Trade (Drugs and Chemical Association, VDC)

Lutz Düshop

 

»The IPD is a useful instrument for importers of vegetable raw materials and can provide considerable support for the commodities sourcing process of these companies.«

Lutz Düshop, a certified lawyer since 1989, is a member of the management board of the Association of Wholesale, Import and Export Trade Hamburg (WGA), where he heads several foreign trade-oriented, German, and European industry associations which are under the WGA roof. 

Mr. Düshop is also managing director of the Drug and Chemicals Association (VDC), which counts among its members numerous import companies as well as processing enterprises of vegetable raw materials and essential oils that supply important manufacturing industries in the foods/dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors. His main responsibilities include expert support and business consulting for member companies as well as representation of the sector’s interests in administrations, ministries, and EU committees. Previously, Mr. Düshop was active as a short-term expert in various third countries where he familiarised local companies with the EU legal and quality market access requirements. 

German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Egypt)

Bassant Helmi

 

»The IPD will provide exporters from emerging markets and developing countries a central point of contact in Germany.«

Since 2000, Mrs. Bassant Helmi has been head of the liaison office of the Berlin-based AHK Egypt. She is also managing director of the non-profit association Global Project Partners.

After her university studies in Cairo and London, Mrs. Bassant Helmi headed the commercial department of the AHK Egypt before she came to Germany to establish the AHK liaison office in the House of the German Economy in Berlin. Mrs. Bassant Helmi designed and developed projects aiming at the export promotion of products from developing countries to Germany. She managed a large number of Public-Private-Partnership projects in cooperation with many renowned companies as well as Germany's most important import and trade associations.

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI)

Kirsten Hungermann

 

»GTAI has provided support to the IPD from the concept phase onwards. We are delighted that the IPD makes use of the tried and tested foreign trade platform iXPOS and is thus able to achieve successes within a short period of time.«

Kirsten Hungermann is Head of the Development Cooperation & Public Procurement Department at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

German-African Business Association

Christoph Kannengießer

 

»The IPD is a good tool to integrate African countries into the global value chain. An expansion to further African countries is desirable.«

Since 2012, attorney Christoph Kannengiesser has been managing director of the German-African business association. For the last two decades, he has held high-responsibility positions in business associations and foundations, such as the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHT, Head of the President's Office) and the Confederation of German Employers‘ Associations (BDA, Director of the Labour Market Department), as Vice-General Secretary of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS) as well as Managing Director of the Markenverband. Mr. Kannengießer has also filled voluntary positions on the board of trustees of the Foundation for UN-Refugee Relief, the steering committee of the Society for Supranational Cooperation and boards of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation.

Biomaderas GmbH

Christian Körting Pacheco

 

»Organisations such as the IPD are valuable tools for the economy not only in Germany but also in partner countries. The IPD provides German importers with information and connects them with suppliers. Even more important is the fact that the IPD and its partner organisations evaluate the suppliers and the information beforehand and therefore minimize the risk for European importers. For exporters from foreign countries, the IPD is an excellent platform to present their products and to get in contact to potential clients.«

Since 2008 Mr. Körting Pacheco imports high-quality timber products from sustainable sources, mainly from Latin America and Southeast Asia. Since 2010 the native Colombian is Co-founder and managing partner of the company Biomaderas GmbH, which imports timber products from the tropical region in a responsible and sustainable way. Furthermore, he was working as a consultant for Procolombia and for several wood processing companies in Latin America and is a member of the tropical timber Committee of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Germany.

Gebr. Maser GmbH

Wolf Maser

 

»At long last, the import sector is given a strong voice with the IPD, a voice which emphasises the equal value of exporting and importing.«

Since 1975, Wolf Maser has been managing director of the medium-sized wholesale company Gebrüder Maser. The company, which has been in family hands for three generations, is active in domestic sales as well as in the import and export of technical products (abrasives) for more than 75 years.

Wolf Maser is also committed to promoting business interests in the various honorary posts he holds, e.g. as vice-president of the IHK Nuremberg for Central Franconia and as vice-president of the Bavarian Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade, Sales and Service (LGAD). At LGAD, he is head of the foreign trade committee, which deals with a wide range of exporting and importing issues.

Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V.

Dr. Helena Melnikov

 

»The import of food as a primary commodity for the processing industry up to the final product plays a vital role when it comes to enabling consumers to choose from a variety of tasty and safe foods. An interface such as the IPD promotes and supports business contacts between importers and exporters and thus creates an ideal platform for mutual trade relationships which are the foundation for a diverse and healthy food supply.«

Since 2014 Dr. Melnikov has been managing director of the Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V., a national association which represents the interests of the foreign and wholesale trade with canned products, frozen products, dried fruit, edible nuts, dried vegetables, spices, honey, organic products and related products. Simultaneously, Dr. Melnikov heads the affiliated associations Zentralverband Naturdarm e.V., Deutscher Honig-Verband e.V., the European Federation of Honey Packers and Distributors (F.E.E.D.M.) as well as Pronatura GmbH.

Prior to this, Dr. Melnikov, who holds a doctorate in business law, worked for the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA e.V.) as the department head of Law and Competition as well as Agricultural Policy. In this position she head the Wirtschaftsverband Häute/Leder e.V. (WHL), the Fachverband des Schrauben-Großhandels  (FDS) and the European umbrella organisation “European Fastener Distributor Association” (EFDA).

Meschede Trading & Consulting GmbH

Franz-Peter Meschede

 

"Without assistance, it is increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized companies from developing countries to meet the requirements of the European market. IPD supports these companies and provides them with the necessary know-how. I am pleased that I can support the IPD in these activities."

Since 1977 Mr. Franz-Peter Meschede has been working in the international trade of essential oils, oleoresins and other raw materials for the aroma and fragrance industry. Thanks to his support, many small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide have been enabledto supply the challenging European market.

Since 2013 he has worked as a consultant for domestic and foreign companies, institutions as well as associations, including the IPD, with the aim to allow small companies from developing countries European market entry.

In addition, Mr. Meschede was the co-founder and chairman of the European Federation of Essential Oils (EFEO) for which he still acts a board member and, since 2016, as a treasurer.

Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK)

Dr. Ilja Nothnagel

 

Since February 2016, Dr. Ilja Nothnagel has been leading the sector of foreign law and trade policy in the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag - DIHK).

As an umbrella organisation commissioned by the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs), the DIHK represents the interests of the German private sector towards national and European policy makers.

After completion of his degree in economics, Dr. Nothnagel has been active in different areas of the DIHK - most recently as consultant of the DIHK president.

GD Holz e.V.

Nils Olaf Petersen

 

"One should think that with today's technical facilities it is easy to find new suppliers and customers in other countries. In reality,  this is a time-consuming and personnel-intensive effort. The IPD offers ideal networking opportunities in a wide range of sectors, facilitating, for instance in the wood sector, the establishment of new and safe commercial relationships with emerging and developing countries."

Nils Olaf Petersen studied wood management at the universities of Hamburg and Stellenbosch, South Africa. As a qualified timber expert, he has been working for the German Wood Trading Association since 2013; within this organization he was initially employed for the accredited monitoring of GD Holz Service GmbH for a year. GD Holz Service supports the German wood industry regarding compliance with due diligence requirements and the European Timber Regulation.
In 2014 Petersen moved to GD Holz e.V. and is now the Head of Department for the Foreign Trade division.

German Coffee Association

Holger Preibisch

 

»The IPD will bring exporters and importers together and thus enable the establishment of trade relations. Despite the globally available means of communication, exporters in developing countries frequently do not know their potential customers - the importers. Only a few exporters in developing countries are aware of the demand for their products on the international market. In this field of international trade relations, the IPD can help set up a sustainable supply that is tailored to the market.«

Holger Preibisch studied law with a focus on environmental law and European law in Constance and Freiburg. Following the 2. Staatsexamen (2nd German State Exam, a degree level) in Saarbrücken, he graduated with a Master of Laws in England.

As a lawyer, Preibisch has been secretary general of the Hamburg-based German Coffee Association since 2006. Prior to this position, he was head of the Research Promotion and Third-Party Funds Service at the Freie Universität Berlin as well as chief office manager for a member of German parliament in Berlin. Mr. Priebisch is also a member of the board of the European Coffee Federation (ECF) and is active as a delegate in the International Coffee Organization (ICO), a global intergovernmental institution. 

Latein America Association

Christoph G. Schmitt

 

Despite modern communication methods, exporters in developing countries often have no access to importers. Import trade offers manufacturers in developing countries the ideal platform for tackling complex markets and thus secure their business in a competitive and sustainable manner. The IPD is a professional platform dedicated to this idea.«

Christoph G. Schmitt has been the general manager of the Hamburg-based Lateinamerika Verein e.V. (LAV - Latin America Association) since 2004. The organisation is the cross-sectoral networking and information platform for German companies with business interests in Latin America. He is also a member of the German government's Interministerial Committee for Investment Guarantees.

Prior to this position, Mr. Schmitt headed the division for machines and installations for the food and animal feed industry at Johannes Schuback & Sons Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co in Hamburg. After completing his wholesale and international trade apprenticeship at Münchmeyer, Petersen & Co, he gathered experience in Latin America, the USA, and East Asia at trading and industrial companies like Alfred C. Toepfer, Ferrostaal AG and Krupp Maschinentechnik GmbH.

Jebsen & Jessen (GmbH & CO.) KG

Axel Tilz

 

»In today's globalised world, importing is an essential part of the value chain, and it is good that the IPD promotes optimizations in this area – especially in emerging markets and developing countries.«

Employed by the Jebsen & Jessen group since 2001, Axel Tilz has been a managing partner since 2006. Prior to Jebsen & Jebsen, Mr Tilz had already gathered foreign trade experience at several renowned Hamburg trading firms.

Originally a banker – Mr Tilz started his career with the Vereins- und Westbank – he is now responsible for finances and administration as the group's CFO. The Hamburg-based group has 230 employees in the trading areas chemicals, textiles and garnet/mineral abrasives. 

Firma Tuchel & Sohn GmbH

Peter Tuchel

 

»Global trade and a healthy balance of trade are equivalent to the promotion of imports. With the IPD, this subject is addressed for the first time

Since 1982, Brazilian-born Peter Tuchel has been a managing partner for the company Tuchel & Sons which has been in family hands for four generations.

Prior to this role, Tuchel, a graduate merchant with extensive internship experience in the banking sector and the apiary industry (among others), was responsible for various areas of operation in the sale and export of honey, mainly in the South American region with a focus on Mexico and Argentina.

Mr. Tuchel is also actively engaged in diverse national and international bodies; among others, he is a member of the board of the German Honey Association, a member of the executive committee of the Hamburg Waren-Verein, a member of the DIN-Standard Committee Honey Examination as well as a member of the EU Advisory Group on Organic Farming.

sequa gGmbH

Gebhard Weiss

 

»The IPD will contribute to economic development in developing countries and, thus to the promotion of employment which will lead eventually to the reduction of poverty.«

Since 2005 Gebhard Weiss has been Managing Director of sequa, a globally active non-profit development organisation which supports the development of the private sector and its bodies as well as the qualification of specialists and executive staff. 

Prior to sequa, Mr. Weiss, who holds an engineer's degree, had various top management positions in international sales (consulting, infrastructure, services) and mergers & acquisition (in telecommunications companies, among others).

Foreign Trade Association of German Retail Trade (AVE)

Stefan Wengler

 

»With the establishment of the IPD, the outstanding significance of imports for the retail sector is finally acknowledged.«

Mr. Stefan Wengler has been AVE's managing director since 1994. Prior to AVE, the economics graduate was responsible from 1977 to 1994 for international marketing, foreign trade promotion and customs policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI). 

As representative of the foreign trade interests of the German and/or European retail sector, Mr. Wengler is also active in several national and international bodies. In addition, he mentors the German participants of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) and is an advocate for the improvement of social standards in the global value chains.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dr. Christine Wieck

 

»Agricultural trade has many dimensions: trade relations between companies of the same region, between neighbouring countries and in the international context, e.g. to Europe. In the matter of sourcing projects, the IPD and the GIZ complement each other perfectly: Matchmaking and market access thanks to the IPD and support of smallholder agricultural production, quality assurance and certifications on-site initiated by the GIZ. This creates job opportunities and generates income in rural areas.«

Dr. Christine Wieck works for the GIZ in the field of structure and impact of agricultural trade policy, agricultural trade promotion and agricultural policy. In this context, the promotion of framework conditions for regional integration and for building up agricultural value chains in partner countries is a very important aspect. Other major topics are food safety and quality in production, processing and trade. Dr. Wieck is a learned farmer, obtained a doctorate in agricultural economics and spent several extensive stays abroad. From 2008 until 2015 she was teaching and conducting research in the field of European and International agricultural and trade policy at the chair for economic and agricultural policy at the University of Bonn.

Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA)

Gregor Wolf

 

»With the IPD we are closing a strategic gap at the interface of development cooperation and foreign trade: By eliminating trade barriers and information deficits, we contribute to the improved participation of emerging and developing countries in the global economy, but also support German SMEs in developing new procurement markets.«

Gregor Wolf is Managing Director at BGA and Head of the Department of Foreign Trade since 2015. The economist and Japanologist is also the Managing Director of the Federation of German Export Trade (BDEx) and General Secretary of the European Confederation of International Trading Houses Associations (CITHA).

His current responsibilities include in particular, the coordination of the foreign trade activities of the BGA, the foreign trade promotion, trade policy, and development cooperation. Through his participation in the Board and the International Trade Committee of the European umbrella organization Eurocommerce, he also represents the interests of the German Wholesale and Foreign Trade in Brussels.

Association of the German Flower Wholesale and Import Trade (BGI)

Frank Zeiler

 

After holding various positions in the green sector, Frank Zeiler has been managing director of the BGI since 2010.

Founded in 1965, the BGI has been the national advocacy group of the German flower and plant wholesale and import trade for almost half a decade. It ensures and represents the interests of its members vis-a-vis public authorities, institutions, associations, and other corporations. The BGI member organisations make up some 75% of the wholesale trade with flowers and ornamental plants in Germany.

The BGI focuses on the national and international representation of interests in the political arena and in branch marketing. International networking activities include membership at the Union Fleurs. In addition, Mr Zeiler also holds key EU positions, for example, as vice-president of the Advisory Group on Flowers and Ornamental Plants at the European Commission and is registered as a recognized expert in flowers and ornamental plants at the European Commission.

Responsibilities of the IPD advisory board

  • Assessing and co-decision making on the strategic direction of the IPD
  • Specialist proposals for the individual activities of the IPD
  • Information and exchange of experience on specialised topics
  • Support in management of our international network 
  • Providing advice and supporting the public relations work of the IPD

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