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German Consul on island for short visit

Duly impressed: David Gill, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York, and Jens Alers, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bermuda

Bermuda is not a place of brass-plate businesses, a visiting international diplomat said.

David Gill, the German Consul General in New York, added: “Bermuda is real business.”

He said: “There’s business going on here. It’s not like one of these other islands where you have just a brass plate. That, I’m very impressed by.”

Mr Gill was speaking as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the island on Friday.

He said the trip to Bermuda, his first, was to forge good relationships and “show that Germany is interested in what’s going on here”.

Mr Gill added: “For Germans, Bermuda has always been this exotic island in the middle of the Atlantic. There are Germans who fell in love with this island, and stayed here, and founded businesses.”

He said the island was “very important” to the German insurance industry, including Hannover Re and Munich Re, the country’s two biggest German reinsurers.

He said that he had visited Hannover Re, on Hamilton’s Victoria Street. Mr Gill added: “I was very impressed to see how dedicated and devoted they are to their business here.”

He also met David Burt, the Premier, as part of his trip.

Mr Gill said the two discussed Bermuda’s relationship with the European Union, as well as the Economic Substance Act and “what it means for the Government here, for the lawmakers, and what there is to be discussed with Brussels”.

He added that the pair also talked about apprenticeships, football and Mr Burt’s affection for Berlin. Mr Gill said: “He’s very familiar with Germany. It seems he likes Germany and the Germans.”

He added that he had also met Walter Roban, the deputy premier, to discuss clean energy.

Mr Gill said: “He was very interested to see if we can build new ties.”

He also met also met John Rankin, the Governor, and Sir John Swan, a former premier.

Mr Gill said he planned to holiday with his family in Bermuda before he returned to New York. The diplomat, who has been Consul General in New York since 2017, serves an area that includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as Bermuda.