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

German Travel Association (DRV)

Volker Adams


"The IPD builds a bridge between sustainable service providers in developing countries and the German travel industry. This offers the chance that valuable products and services can be dis-covered and marketed off the beaten path. This may lead to a broadening and upgrading of the range of products offered by tour operators and travel distributors."

Volker Adams has been working at the German Travel Association (DRV) for four years. As the Head of Politics/Foreign Tourism, he is responsible for representing the interests of the travel industry vis-à-vis the German Bundestag and the European institutions as well as the industries-relevant stakeholders in third countries. Previously, Mr. Adams worked as a parlia-mentary group consultant in the German Bundestag for several years. He studied sociology in Bielefeld and optained an MBA in Public Affairs & Leadership in Berlin.

Business Association for Latin America (LAV)

Orlando Baquero


"The IPD enables the establishment and expansion of trade relations and creates a network, especially with regions in which market development is often more difficult. It is important to build economic relations at eye level and the IPD acts as a bridge builder."

Since January 2019, Orlando Baquero has been Managing Director of the Lateinamerika Verein e.V. (Business Association for Latin America / LAV). LAV is the cross-industry corporate network and information platform for the German economy with interests in Latin America. LAV supports companies across industries in establishing and expanding their business activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, LAV promotes economic, political and social relations between Germany and the countries of the region.

After completing his studies at the University of Hamburg, his professional career as a business graduate took him to various companies in the food and pharmaceutical industry as well as agricultural product trade in several Latin American countries and Germany.

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. 

Foreign Trade Association of German Retail Trade (AVE)

Andrea Breyer


“Importing retailers are key to ensuring that consumers have a large range of economically priced pro-ducts available to them and for this the retailers need global supply chains and imports. The IPD is making a great contribution here by bringing together the demand-oriented German importers with exporters from emerging markets and developing countries.”

Andrea Breyer has been Head of Trade Policy and Sustainability at AVE since 2017. Previously the qualified economist spent four years on deployment to AVE from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as a development cooperation scout tasked with promoting sustainable global supply chains. In addition, Ms Breyer was employed for several years in the private sector for enterprises including Tata Interactive Systems. As representative of the foreign trade interests of German retailers Ms Breyer is also a member of various national and international bodies and is committed to improving social and environmental standards in global added value chains.

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. 

Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V.

Jeanette Gonnermann


»Commodity quality is crucial in the food sector, while sustainability criteria are becoming increasingly important as well. A comprehensive understanding of the German and EU markets combined with active cooperation between trading partners are indispensable for this. The IPD forms an important bridge between exporters and importers, creating a win-win situation on both sides.«

Jeannette Gonnermann PorträtfotoJeanette Gonnermann took over the Waren-Verein’s managing director position in September 2021, having worked at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce the previous nine years. She is a fully qualified lawyer and has several years of experience as managing director. As a proven trade expert, she also has an international background. Ms. Gonnermann’s network spans the worlds of business, politics and administration.

The Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V. represents the interests of importers of dried fruit, spices, nuts, canned fruit, vegetables and fish, frozen fruit, vegetable and fish products as well as organic products as a federal association of wholesale and foreign trade. The association currently has 133 member companies.

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).

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Sarah Lena Jensen


"Agricultural trade has many dimensions: between companies within the same region, between neighboring countries and internationally, e.g. with European countries.
As cooperation partners IPD and GIZ are perfectly working together in sourcing projects: IPD facilitates exporters the access to the European market and provides matchmaking services; the GIZ supports small farmers in production, quality assurance and certification on site. Hence, jobs and income are generated in rural areas."

Sarah Lena Jensen has been working for Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) since 2010.
As a field representative, she planned and implemented development partnerships with the private sector and coordinated multi-stakeholder partnerships until the end of 2017.

Mrs. Jensen is currently working on development policy issues, relating to the impact of cooperation with industry in the agricultural sector. This cooperation combines the innovative strength of the economy with the resources, knowledge and experience of development policy, achieving development policy goals. In this way, new markets can be opened up sustainably while improving local living conditions at the same time.

Wirtschaftsvereinigung Groß- und Außenhandel Hamburg (WGA e.V.)

Dr. Rodger Wegner


"IPD provides a wonderful link between a plethora of suppliers and often equally numerous SME buyers. In this respect, IPD is the prime example of successful support for the private sector."

Rodger Wegner has been a member of the management of the Wirtschaftsvereinigung Groß- und Außenhandel Hamburg (WGA e.V.) since 1994 and is responsible there, among other things, for the management of the Verein Hamburger Exporteure e.V. and the Verein der am Rohkakaohandel beteiligten Firmen e.V.. In the context of foreign trade and trade fair promotion, Dr Wegner has worked in particular on various PPP projects as an expert. Another area of focus is the social dimension of international trade.



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.

Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (BVE)

Olivier Kölsch


»Numerous companies from the German nutrition industry depend on the import of high-quality food products. Many of these raw materials cannot be grown in Germany at all or only to an insufficient extent. The Import Promotion Desk can play an important role in the establishment of a mutually satisfactory collaboration between food importers from Germany and reliable food exporters from selected commodity markets.«

Olivier Kölsch read International Economics at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen. Since 2008 he has been working as an expert for the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) in Berlin where he is responsible for the foreign trade, markets, trade fairs and, since 2017, for the topics raw materials and supply chain management.

In this function, Mr. Kölsch is in regular contact with various federal ministries and foreign embassies. In addition, he is an advocate for the German nutrition industry vis-a-vis the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), to which he also provides consulting services on German export promotion activities. At the BVE, Olivier Kölsch is also responsible for the food-away-from-home market, the second most important distribution channel for the food industry; the topic of food waste in the communal catering field; sustainable raw material supply for the nutrition sector and the content-related organization of food industry events and trade fair participations in Germany and abroad.

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.«

Wolf Maser has been managing director of the medium-sized company Gebr. Maser GmbH in its third generation since 1975. A company whose task it has been for over 80 years to provide its customers with the best possible support in questions concerning trade and services (and thus also in export and import). 

In addition, Wolf Maser also represents economic interests in various honorary positions. He is, for example, Vice President of the Bavarian Wholesale * Foreign Trade * Services Association and there he also chairs the Foreign Trade Committee, which deals with the many and varied issues of export and import. 


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.

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. 

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.

German Chambers of Industry and Commerce e.V.

Melanie Vogelbach


Since June 2019, Melanie Vogelbach has been Head of International Economic Policy and Foreign Trade Law at the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce e.V. (DIHK). As the umbrella organisation of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) and on their behalf, the DIHK represents the interests of German trade and industry vis-à-vis decision-makers in federal politics and European institutions.

After completing her degree in International Relations at New York University, Ms Vogelbach worked for the Federal Foreign Office, among others. She has been working for the DIHK since 2014 - most recently as the Federal Managing Director of "Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland".

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).

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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