ISSUED: 15 OCTOBER 2023
OCO GLOBAL EXPANDS PRESENCE IN GERMANY WITH NEW FRANKFURT OFFICE
OCO Global has relocated its offices in Frankfurt to accommodate a threefold increase in its German team thanks to growing demand for economic development and trade services from across Central Europe.
The company is also providing advice to an increasing number of German clients interested in Northern Ireland as an investment location because of its unique EU-UK dual-market access provided by the Windsor Framework.
The new offices in the landmark Westhafentower building in the heart of Frankfurt will provide additional physical space for OCO’s growing team and a new work environment to foster greater collaboration and innovation.
Mark O’Connell, OCO Global’s Chair, said:
“Since OCO first established an office in Germany in 2014 we’ve enjoyed double-digit growth. Macro-economic challenges such as climate transition, industrial and regional transformation, skilled labour shortages and digital transformation are driving demand from development agencies. It’s an increasingly competitive market for innovation, investment and talent and agencies need specialist support.
“Our Frankfurt team, which includes 25 internationalisation specialists, has also expanded its trade consultancy work for British and Irish firms interested in investment opportunities in Germany and with German ‘Mittelstands’ (SMEs) navigating markets outside of the EU. Additionally, we’re also dealing with a growing number of queries from German and European firms interested in Northern Ireland’s unique EU-UK dual access.
“The timing for the relocation couldn’t be better with direct flights now available between Belfast and Frankfurt to support business and tourism connectivity, plus great foresight from Invest NI in strengthening its presence in the EU to enhance trade links.”
Exports from Northern Ireland to European markets grew by 17% in the past year and local firms such as Wrightbus and Randox already have strategic partnerships in Germany. Invest NI has also provided additional resources for its offices in Italy, The Hague, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Berlin and Paris.
Steve Harper, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business, said:
“By establishing a stronger presence in key European markets, Invest NI is providing an enhanced gateway for Northern Ireland companies to reap the benefits of dual market access and grow their exports.
“Our new staff are working to attract new FDI and are already collaborating with companies from across Northern Ireland, providing them with invaluable resources, guidance and an extensive network of connections to support them to foster collaborations which will ultimately lead to export growth.”
Jens Manke, Director OCO Germany & Central Europe, added:
“As we witness a surge in demand for economic development and trade services consulting in Central Europe, our strategic choice of location reflects our commitment to fostering a workspace that stimulates creativity and encourages open collaboration.
“The Windsor Framework has emerged as a pivotal force in fostering positive relations and streamlined international trade between Northern Ireland and Germany. By providing a robust and transparent platform for economic collaboration, it has significantly reduced trade barriers and bureaucratic hurdles.
“As a result, we see that businesses in Northern Ireland and Germany are experiencing improved market access, greater efficiency in logistics, and a more stable and predictable trading environment, ultimately fostering economic growth and prosperity for both nations.”
In 2021 Northern Ireland exports to Germany were valued at £500m making it the region’s fourth largest export market. Germany is the UK’s second largest export market supporting 500,000 UK jobs while German exports to the UK support 800,000 jobs in Germany.
OCO’s clients in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) include JETRO, Camlin, Germany Trade & Invest, Austrian Business Agency, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Siemens Real Estate and Boge Rubber & Plastics.
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Notes to Editor
About OCO Global
OCO Global is a technology enabled advisory firm focused on trade, investment and economic development. Employing over 200 staff, OCO is headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has 14 offices worldwide including London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, New York, Dubai and Shanghai.
OCO’s clients include leading national, state and regional economic development organizations such as The UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT), Enterprise Florida, The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), as well as private companies seeking to enter new markets or grow their domestic base, including EY, PWC, Siemens, Pepsico and Santander.
 Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2022) Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics 2021
 Source: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2022) Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics 2021
 Source: Invest NI (2022) Spotlight on Germany