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Envoy: Island’s ‘assets’ will lift it out of recession

The high-calibre international business sector that Bermuda has built up is very impressive and something that the Island can continue to build on to dig out of recession.

This from the German Consul General in New York, Busso von Alvensleben, who visited Bermuda this week.

The influential German diplomat said Bermuda’s specialised reinsurance sector was something that can’t be duplicated elsewhere just because a certain tax regime was in place.

“It’s not just about taxes,” Mr von Alvensleben said.

“It’s the judicial system, legal framework, political framework, stability of the system, lack of corruption it is all that, and you need the experts of course.”

While in Bermuda, staying at a West End resort, Mr von Alvensleben called on the Governor and Government officials. Apart from New York, his area of jurisdiction covers Bermuda, as well as Connecticut (Fairfield County), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

“What I admire is this small Island has always been able to reinvent itself and historically has shown strong flexibility.”

Mr von Alvensleben said he was very optimistic about Bermuda’s future if it continues to show flexibility and change.

“I see enormous assets here,” he said. “Bermuda has a strong international business sector and I see fantastic chances for tourism; it is impressive what the Island has to offer.”

He added: “I am deeply impressed by the international business sector, it’s an enormous achievement. It is hard to build up such a sector, and you can’t do it overnight. You need to make it attractive for companies to come and stay, and of course there are reasons they want to come here, but you need a whole basket of opportunities otherwise they don’t come.”

Mr von Alvensleben said he had also expressed to the Bermuda Government he was ready to assist the Island in areas where Germany has particular expertise, such as education and training, waste disposal, natural gas and alternative energy ideas.

“We have very substantial German interests in this country and we think there are more opportunities in the future we would like to use,” he said.

Mr von Alvensleben pointed to Germany’s first-class dual vocational education and on-job training system a major reason for Germany’s economic success and low youth unemployment rate.

It offers sound qualifications and a solid education plus a sets a specific job path after high school which students can base a career on, or use to fall back on if they can’t find the job they want.

It is basically a complimentary option to an expensive university education.

And under the German dual system, much of the costs are financed by companies.

He noted that The Skills Initiative programme begun by the German Embassy in the US was in cooperation with German companies investing in the US.

“You have to get companies involved,” he said. “That is one of the most important aspects.”

Mr von Alvensleben worked at Deutsche Bank AG, before joining the Federal Foreign Office, serving posts in Nairobi, Tel Aviv, and Geneva.

He served as Private Secretary to the Federal President and as Head of the President's Office from 1994-1998. He has been Ambassador to Sweden and Ireland, and served as Commissioner for Global Issues: Civil Crisis Prevention, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid and International Terrorism from 2006-2009, and Chief of Protocol from 2000-2003 at the Federal Foreign Office. He has been Consul General of Germany in New York since September 2011.

Impressed by Bermuda: German Consul General in New York, Busso von Alvensleben (left), visited Bermuda this week. He is pictured with Honorary Consul of Germany in Bermuda Jens Alers.

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Published May 10, 2013 at 11:58 am (Updated May 10, 2013 at 11:58 am)

Envoy: Island’s ‘assets’ will lift it out of recession

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