The Carolinas chapter of the European American Chamber of Commerce — launched in Greenville last year — hosted three diplomats from Europe for a wide-ranging discussion on international trade.
The chamber’s special guests at the Commerce Club in downtown Greenville were Detlev Ruenger, consul general for Germany; Louis De Corail, consul general for France; and Shane Stephens, consul general for Ireland. All three are based in Atlanta and conduct their nation’s business in the Southeast region.
About 30 people attended, including some heavy-hitters in the Upstate business community such as Knudt Flor, chief executive of BMW Manufacturing Co. near Greer, and James Brown, general manager of Fluor Corp.’s operations in Greenville.
Also present were Christian Depret-Bixio, president of the Columbia-based French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas; Brendan Kelly, chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate; and Uli Eichler, president of Draexlmaier Automotive of America, a German auto supplier with manufacturing and a headquarters in Duncan.
Also attending were Lee Morrissey, chairman of the English department at Clemson University, a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, and representatives of two Irish companies operating in Anderson County: Mergon Group, which makes plastic auto parts; and E+I Engineering Group, which makes electrical equipment.
Presiding over the discussion were three local attorneys involved with the chamber: Howard Daniel and Rebecca Sigmund of Ogletree Deakins and Jay Rogers of Nelson Mullins.
The chamber’s objective is to “stimulate business development and facilitate active business relationships between European and American companies and professional organizations,” according to a brochure.
Other chapters are in New York, Cincinnati, and Princeton, N.J., as well as Paris and two other French cities, Toulouse and Lyon.