Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants to take Germany’s relations with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to the next level. To this end, he invited the foreign ministers of the region to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin at the end of May to launch a Latin America–Caribbean initiative. In his function as Chairman of the Latin America Committee of German Business (LADW), VW Board Member and CEO of TRATON Andreas Renschler presented the “CEO Agenda for Economic Cooperation with Latin America.” The joint study by LADW and McKinsey & Company comes to the conclusion that Germany, of all countries, formerly one of the largest investors in Latin America, is now among the least engaged when compared with others in the OECD.“If German companies in Latin America want to keep pace, they will have to become much more involved,” says Renschler. Meanwhile, companies from other countries are pursuing a far more consistent expansion policy in the region.

But the success of the German economy in Latin America also depends on political commitment on both sides of the Atlantic. “We need a long-term strategy, jointly with the German government, clear and fair competitive conditions, an improved education system in the region, and support for pilot projects in fields such as digitalization, mobility, and the Internet of Things,” Renschler explains.

Renschler has been Chairman of the LADW since 2015 and was re-elected at the general meeting for a further three years until 2021.