Update to OWWF in times of Corona
The corona pandemic pulverized our schedule in the first half of the year.
Even events already planned for the second half of the year were not feasible because all personal contacts, travel and other activities necessary for preparation, e.g. for the delegation trip to Volgograd planned for September, could not take place. The Bavarian State Parliament had also cancelled all events and the programme of meetings was carried out with a minimum number of members in the plenary and in the committees. In the meantime, a hygiene concept for the autumn has been drawn up, which will make events with a reduced number of participants possible again. We are planning a streamlined Russia Forum for the end of November/beginning of December and also want to hold an event in Nuremberg on the subject of "shortage of skilled workers". Using digital media, we are trying to increase the number of participants, even if personal presence is not possible.
The pandemic has shown that bridges instead of barriers are more important than ever, but also more difficult to build. This is not only due to the restrictions resulting from the corona virus. Between nation states, a culture of mistrust has again developed in corona times, leading to the sealing off rather than opening of markets. It is precisely because the pandemic has led to a worldwide slump in growth and employment - I would cite as an example the 32.9% fall in gross national product in the USA - that every effort should be made to generate additional impetus for growth and employment. In our view, the Danube Strategy, the Silk Road of the 21st century and the partnership between the EU and Russia are of outstanding importance for Bavaria.
State programmes to support the economy are of little help if the markets for products and services and the infrastructure for modern logistics are lacking. We want to take up these issues more intensively and raise awareness of them among the public and political bodies.
The corona pandemic has put global cooperation and multilateralism to a severe test, in addition to the decisions of the US President. In view of the devastating effects of the pandemic, however, globalisation needs regulation to prevent unfair trading conditions, the undermining of European standards and, not least, virus-induced pandemics in the future.
International management against corona must be complemented by a system of "firewall public health" to effectively protect people, the economy and employment from the devastating damage caused by viruses and other pathogens worldwide. What a firewall public health system should look like requires a comprehensive discussion, which has so far fallen victim to the hectic pace of the current pandemic.
Besides Corona, the work at the OWWF was additionally interrupted by longer health problems of our Managing Vice President Hermann Pönisch. At the moment we are trying to catch up on what we missed so far. Soon we will be able to provide further information on the points mentioned below:
- Reception for the Consular Corps: On Wednesday, March 4, 2020 we had our last "pre-Corona event". We were guests at the SPATEN - Brewery. After a factory tour we could taste fresh beer with a Bavarian snack.
- Meeting between State Secretary Karel Dobes and Gf. Vice President Hermann Pönisch: Karel Dobes is a member of the board of directors of the OWWF and in the Czech government responsible for aerospace. He was in Munich for talks on 24 February 2020. Dobes suggested a closer cooperation between the Czech and Bavarian space industry. In preparation for this, one event is to be held in the Czech Republic and one in Bavaria.
- Cooperation OWWF - GPB - BHA: A close cooperation with the associations Global Partners Bavaria GPB and Bavarian Health Association BHA (headed by our member Michael Koller) is being prepared. For this purpose, a conference was held on 16-17 June 2020.
- "Capital Talks" in Munich from 22 - 28 November 2020 in cooperation with DRJUG e.V. (voluntary network of young Russia and Germany experts from both countries). During this week, opportunities for innovation in various fields will be discussed. Several visits to companies are also planned.
- OWWF Round Table - OWWF Stammtische: As a replacement for the Munich Maximilianeumsrunde we wanted to establish an OWWF Round Table - OWWF Stammtisch in different cities in Bavaria already in spring. For the beginning we had thought of Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Deggendorf, Weiden and Würzburg. We are happy to accept further suggestions and support for implementation.
- In the pipeline are still planned events such as Economic Forums Bavaria - Poland, Bavaria - Ukraine, Bavaria - Russia and Bavaria - Bulgaria