The Stuttgart Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which recently decided to pursue a formal alliance with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, was originally reluctant to sign an agreement because business and personal ties between the cities are already close, said Eike Jordan, president of Jordan Interstart.
Dr. Jordan, chair of the Atlanta chamber’s Europe subcommittee, spoke to GlobalFax about the alliance on Jan. 20, shortly after returning from a business trip to Europe.
He said that when he first spoke to representatives of the Stuttgart chamber about an alliance, they said “Everything’s fine. Why do we need to formalize anything?”
Stuttgart officials already work closely with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast (GACC), and a number of Stuttgart companies, including Robert Bosch Corp. and EMO-Trans, have opened offices in the metro Atlanta area, said Dr. Jordan.
After looking at a sample alliance agreement from the Atlanta chamber, and reassuring themselves that there was nothing objectionable in the agreement, representatives of the Stuttgart chamber concluded that there was no reason not to go forward with formalizing the alliance, he added.
Fear that personnel changes could effect personal ties between the cities, and the fact that written documents carry more weight with the public and investors than informal ties are probably part of the Atlanta chamber’s desire for a formal agreement, he added.
The details of the alliance between the chambers are still being worked out, Dr. Jordan said, but Wolfram Schock, of the Stuttgart chamber’s foreign trade section, will visit Atlanta from early March to late May to work with the GACC.
Mr. Schock will hopefully be able to spend time with the Metro Atlanta chamber to get a better understanding of its activities, he added, and will be a good point man for Atlanta companies when he returns to Stuttgart.
Dr. Jordan may be reached at (770) 409-1100.