Business Bavaria Newsletter
Issue 10 | 2013
Five minutes with … Beate Rank,
CEO of Rakuten Deutschland GmbH
Focus Topic: Welcoming culture as an
Bavaria in your briefcase:
Our top topic: Welcoming culture
What Bavaria is doing to increase its appeal to
Initial assistance for international specialists
We are moving! New add
80538 Munich | Germany
Bavaria is popular among specialist staff from around the world and Munich now
the driving licence, enrolling children to school, etc. They speak English, French,
offers them a new point of contact, the Service-Center for International Profes-
Italian, Russian and Spanish and there is also an in-house interpreting office for
sionals. The state capital wants to set a new example with this centre, which
those languages. One of the backdrops for this new facility was the establishment
opened only a few days ago on October 1st, 2013, to smooth the path for foreign
of the Directive on Highly Qualified Workers in August 2012, which got numerous
managerial and specialist staff into their new employment relationship in Bavaria.
relieves in terms of starting work off the ground. With the foundation of the Service Center, Munich wants to promote the influx of international specialist staff in
The staff in the new Service Center in Munich is responsible for all immigration and
the sense of an active welcoming culture even beyond the statutory requirements.
residency issues – from the residency permit to naming contacts for all important
questions related to the first entry such as finding accommodation, reregistrating
For more on that, see the Focus Topic on Page 3
Upper Franconia en route to the future
Pioneering strategies for increased competitiveness between processing companies
The Fraunhofer Process Innovation project group at the University of Bayreuth is re-
in Upper Franconia are the goal of the Technology Roadmap for Upper Franconia
sponsible for the Technology Roadmap for Upper Franconia. The Manufacturing and
project. Based on a scientific theoretical approach, the strengths and weaknesses
Remanufacturing Technology chair and the Fraunhofer project group work together
of interested companies are determined, their opportunities and risks examined and
closely with the companies. The response to the offer is very positive and each com-
possible ways for development demonstrated.
pany is analysed for one or two days. The project started in July 2011 and is designed
The Technology Roadmap for Upper Franconia project focuses on the manufacturing in-
to run 3.5 years; the analysis phase will conclude by the end of 2013. The Bavarian
dustry with the sectors metal, plastics, glass/ceramics, furniture/wood processing and
State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology contributes
textiles in the administrative district of Upper Franconia. In order for these sectors to re-
around EUR 1.1 million of funding to the Technology Roadmap for Upper Franconia.
main the economic flagships of the region, the second step of the project is to point out
the sector-specific strategic options to the companies so they can equip themselves for
new challenges early on, prepare for sector trends in a timely manner and initiate the de-
Your contact at Invest in Bavaria:
Lisa Zeitler, Northern Bavaria office, firstname.lastname@example.org
velopment of new products. After all, these sectors are subject to swift changes. Products that are successful and common today, might not be needed any more tomorrow.
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For more information visit www.roadmap-oberfranken.de/main.php
Five minutes with …
Beate Rank, CEO of Rakuten Deutschland GmbH
On the development of e-commerce and Rakuten‘s
factor, however, was our proximity in terms of content
prospects in Germany and Europe since the acquisi-
to the business model Rakuten has been very success-
tion of Tradoria GmbH. Currently, over 6,200 online
ful with on the Japanese market since 1997, and which
retailers offering more than nine billion products
is becoming more and more popular in Germany, too.
are under contract with Rakuten Deutschland. Over
800 retailers are setting up their shop and will go
Thinking about the digital infrastructure: Do you
online shortly. Beate Rank was the former manag-
think Bavaria is well-equipped for the future?
ing director and co-founder of Tradoria before it was
Compared internationally, Bavaria achieves top marks
taken over by the Japanese company Rakuten, Inc.
regularly – be it with regard to the digital infrastruc-
Rakuten is one of the world‘s ten largest internet
ture or other important areas such as education and
companies and is represented in 26 countries with
purchasing power. If nothing else, this is the reason
why we are convinced that Bavaria is really wellequipped for the future.
How important is the e-commerce market in Ger-
We are of course extremely delighted about the oppor-
many for a global player like Rakuten in terms of its
tunity to actively contribute to this growth and suc-
Do you cooperate with regional partners or maintain
cess with the international expertise of the Rakuten
research activities with Bavarian universities?
Counting more than 41 million (50 per cent of the
Group and with our dynamic team here at Rakuten.de.
We collaborate with local postal delivery services,
German population) digital shoppers in 2012 (and an
Perhaps we are even able to accelerate it.
among other things, and plan to extend our activi-
estimated 46 million in 2016), Germany is among the
ties with Bavarian universities and other educational
nations with the biggest potential in e-commerce in
Which advantages of Bavaria as a business location
institutions. For years, Bavarian pupils have been
(e.g. economic power, infrastructure, purchasing
among the best of all European countries and numer-
In 2012, German B2C online and mail-order trad-
power, quality of life) are particularly important for
ous international schools as well as a growing number
ing generated total sales in excess of EUR 39.3 bil-
of multilingual learning opportunities give evidence of
lion. E-commerce achieved EUR 27.6 billion and thus
Bavaria not only is home to global companies such as
the international demand for education. In combina-
accounted for 70 per cent of the sector‘s total sales.
Adidas, Audi, BMW or Siemens, it is also a strong base
tion with the German e-commerce market‘s growth
The German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade
for small and medium-sized companies in industry,
rates, we want to invest in the specialist staff of
Association even predicts that the e-commerce vol-
retail and the service sector. The reasons are obvious:
tomorrow as partners in a professional way and fur-
ume will increase by another 21 per cent in 2013, which
What is being offered in the fields of transportation,
ther expand our activities in this area.
can mainly be attributed to the rising popularity of
telecommunications and energy is quite extraordi-
smartphones and tablet devices in Germany. These
nary and the high standards in education achieve top
figures alone highlight Germany‘s significance in the
values in the international arena. All these criteria of
context of international strategies.
course encouraged Rakuten, Inc.‘s decision. The critical
… “new inhabitants” from abroad have come to Bavaria since the beginning of the
679,000 people have moved to Bavaria from other German regions between 1991 and
1990s. Even within Germany, Bavaria can be considered as a land of immigration.
2010 (Federal Institute for Population Research 2012).
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Welcoming culture as an opportunity
The IT specialists, business economists, engineers and other specialist staff companies are specifically looking for come from all around the world – China, India,
Vietnam, New Zealand or Eastern Europe – and Bavaria is at the top of their list.
However, this is no reason to rest on one’s laurels. Bavaria places great value on a
welcoming culture with services that make the transition into a new employment
relationship for international top talents even easier.
Since 1st October 2013: Service Center in Munich
The recently opened Service-Center for International Professionals employs a total
of 15 workers who are responsible for all immigration and residency issues. Precise
requirements (necessary documents, evidence to be presented) are settled beforehand with network partners such as Invest in Bavaria, the Employment Agency and
embassies of the countries of origin, etc. Ideally, one appointment is sufficient to
get the ball rolling. If the necessary requirements are fulfilled, the electronic residence title (e-AT) can already be applied for at the first visit and usually be handed
over within four to six weeks. For more information or to make an appointment with
the Service Center Munich, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call the
call centre at 089/233-96010.
“The state capital Munich is setting an important example with the establishment of the Service-Center for International Professionals and
sends the clear message that foreign managerial and specialist staff
and their families are welcome in Munich. The close collaboration with
our network partners, in particular with Invest in Bavaria, allows us to
guarantee that all questions with regard to immigration and residency
Showcase project “Allianz pro Fachkräfte” (Alliance pro skilled professionals)
The Welcome Service Center is also integrated in an ambitious project launched last
year not far from Roth. The idea to secure specialist staff for the economy in a network consisting of strong partners, including, among others, the Federal Employment
Agency, the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region, the Bavarian Ministry of Labour and the
are settled beforehand and for example new company settlements can
Ministry of Economic Affairs, has achieved a lot of recognition in Germany and around
be realised quickly.”
the world. The “Allianz pro Fachkräfte” was honoured as the most innovative network
Dr. Klaus Kirchmann, deputy head of the Munich foreigners’ registration
in Germany by the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Mrs. von der Leyen, in
2012 and has ranked second in the category “unconventional projects” of the International Chamber of Commerce’s world chamber competition in Doha, Qatar, in early 2013.
A warm welcome – clearly leading the way
Giving the green light with the blue card
Specially established service and welcome centres do not only assist in getting voca-
Since August 2012, the newly introduced EU Blue Card residence title has been mak-
tional qualifications approved or in visiting authorities for the naturalisation, they also
ing it easier for highly qualified workers from non-EU-countries to begin their work
see to finding accommodation, arrange language courses or provide information on
in Germany. The requirements to apply for the EU Blue Card are
public transport, sports facilities and much more. The Roth district, too, sets a good
– German or comparable foreign university degree and
example: “In a way, we point people in the right direction and help foreign special-
– n employment contract with a gross annual salary of at least EUR 46,400
ist staff with questions about resident permits, finding translators for qualifications
(EUR 3,867 per month).
gained abroad and also with finding apprenticeship or internship positions for their
children,” emphasises Christof Liebel, head of the Welcome Service Center Roth. His
Special advantage for Blue Card holders: They can apply for a permanent residence
institution is closely linked to and works with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce,
permit after 33 months of employment with compulsory pension insurance, and even
the Chamber of Crafts and the Employment Agency as well as with the foreigners’
already after 21 months if they can provide proof of a good command of German.
registration office. As a regional hub, the Service Center is part of the Unternehmerfabrik Landkreis Roth GmbH, the regional economic promotion society of the Roth
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