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Consul General of Germany makes first visit to Buffalo

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Omar Fetouh, WBFO
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He is based in New York City, but his territory includes Western New York. David Gill, Consul General of Germany, has just wrapped up his first visit to Buffalo and Rochester. His schedule was jam-packed, but it included a visit to WBFO's studios.

The German Consul General in New York, David Gill, has just completed his first-ever visit to Western New York. His two-day trip concluded in the Buffalo area, where he visited a school and business, met with local leaders including Mayor Byron Brown and was the guest of honor at an evening reception.

His appearances in Buffalo, and Rochester the day before, were his first.

"I try to look close at the cities, the potentials, the challenges and also the heritage," Gill said. 

German immigrants played a significant part in shaping Buffalo more than a century ago. The City of Buffalo has among its official sister cities the German city of Dortmund. Gill says the changes Buffalo has witnessed, moving away from heavy industry to a more technologically-minded economy, is what his homeland has also experienced. 

Global partnerships are important, he told WBFO, when asked about the Trump Administration's desires to move away from previous trade agreements and whether Germany has opportunities to advance its business interests. 

The German economy, the most lucrative in the European Union and highly influential not only in Europe but globally, is seeking opportunities in North America, including Canada and Mexico, that will work more successfully if NAFTA continues to function, Gill suggested.

"The whole American market is interesting for German business," Gill said. "Not only the big ones. We have a lot of middle-sized family-run companies, a lot of hidden champions with very innovative products. They are also looking for a market here."

The consul general was also asked about the change of leadership in the White House. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is currently negotiating to form a new coalition government, has not seen eye to eye with President Donald Trump on several issues, most recently being his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Gill spoke during his WBFO interview about how everyday Germans feel about the U.S. and of the importance to maintain a good relationship.

"The Trans-Atlantic ties, from my perspective, are very important. More important, maybe, than they have been ever, in times of uncertainty in the world," Gill said. "That's why we're relying on these ties. We try to shape a strong relationship, as we used to, for decades now."

 

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.