At yesterday’s traditional New Year Reception, the Northern Germany and Hamburg Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany welcomed as guest of honor Ambassador Philip D. Murphy from Berlin. Ambassador Murphy in turn emphasized the importance of the Hamburg consulate and the significance of AmCham as a forum for American and German business communities.
In his official speech Mr. Murphy shortly touched the changes the world has seen in the last four years and their political impact – the Arab revolutions in Middle East, China’s peaceful rise as a global power and economic challenges in Europe. In all this developments, Europe has been “America’s partner of first resort”.
With the new presidential term starting next week, these changes are again shaping the agenda. Mr. Murphy emphasized the necessity and the importance of Europe and the US combining their efforts to improve not only world trade and trade liberalization but also to address energy issues and promote technological innovation.
A US-EU trade agreement as proposed by Secretary of State Clinton could be such an effort. Not omitting differences of opinion on various issues, Ambassador Murphy said that chances for a deal were better than ever, if Europe and the US can come to terms on these varying points. He concluded: „At this moment in time, we are called to take on two tasks at once: to continue the work of advancing our shared interests and values around the world, while we shore up the sources of our strengths at home.”
The President of AmCham Germany, Fred B. Irwin, in his speech talked about the European crisis, which in his estimation is a crisis of confidence. He encouraged all the New Year reception participants to continue creating a strong confidence into Germany and America’s abilities and resources in 2013. To bet against the ability both of Europe and of the US to overcome their difficulties would be a bad bet indeed!
Just before these speeches, Consulate General Inmi K. Patterson had welcomed the American Chamber members and the AmCham Germany board to the “Little White House at the Alster”, where the reception took place. AmCham is an important partner and cooperator or the Consulate, Ms Patterson said, and she hoped to continue the good partnership from the past with appointed new Hamburg co-chair Dr. Henning Schneider, as before with Jodi Gentilozzi.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham Germany) represents the interests of American and German companies in all economic sectors engaged in transatlantic business. Moreover, AmCham Germany functions as the voice of American companies in Germany.