The seismic events occasioned by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union have forced many UK companies to consider restructuring their affairs in such a way that they do not actually end up leaving it at all.
Establishing a European subsidiary, of course, is nothing new. But Brexit has caused many British companies to consider this possibility as a form of insurance policy so that they can continue to trade freely with the remaining 27 member states without having to worry about the countless unknown unknowns that it has created.
When it comes to deciding in which country within Europe to relocate, most companies are perhaps unsurprisingly electing to do so in its largest and richest market. But where within Germany should they establish themselves?
Having lived and worked there for over a decade myself, I can wholeheartedly recommend its most beautiful and prosperous City, Hamburg.
Situated on the river Elbe, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It has a population is over 1.7 million people, and is Germany’s most Anglophile City with several thriving English-speaking communities.
Thanks to its geographical location and easy accessibility by water, road, rail and air, Hamburg is an outstanding hub of logistics in world trade and the most important logistics location in Northern Europe.
Hamburg‘s economic structure is dominated by the services sector. The Hanseatic city is traditionally the most important trading centre for goods of all kinds in northern Europe, and central gateway for the overseas trade in the Baltic Sea region.
Moreover, Hamburg is home to many major players in the business services sector, in particular for banks and insurance companies and is host to a dynamic fintech sector, with numerous start-ups developing intelligent digital solutions for next generation banking.
Furthermore, Hamburg leads the way in a number of other sectors including media, music, film, PR, online, software and games. This is why Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Adobe, Systems Engineering, Twitter, Hootsuite and Yelp decided to make Hamburg as their German headquarters.
The list of long-established advertising agencies in Hamburg is tantamount to a "who’s who" of the German advertising industry. Other areas in which the City excels includes Life Sciences and Wind power.
When it comes to quality of life, “The Economist” consistently ranks Hamburg as one of the most the most livable cities in the world. This is a sentiment to which I concur.
With this in mind, I am seriously considering moving back there once my son starts university, and I would be delighted to help any UK company establish themselves in this, the most British of German cities.