More than 250 international guests from businesses, governments and academia are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Manager Training Programme today. Since 1998, the “Fit for Partnership with Germany” programme has prepared managers from companies in the partner countries to initiate business and cooperate with German firms. The programme currently has 19 partner countries.

Commented Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: “Small and medium-sized enterprises are an engine driving the success of the German economy. Many of them are ‘hidden champions’ and international leaders on their markets. Our Manager Training Programme has been helping the companies to build up international networks for 20 years now. We want to keep supporting this in future.”

During their four-week stay in Germany, the foreign executives get to know German companies which fit with their area of business. Not only do they build up important contacts: they also gain detailed insights into the way German SMEs are run. Alumni associations form the basis of a global network which is also available to German firms venturing abroad.

Since the programme was set up, some 13,000 foreign executives have taken part in the Manager Training Programme. Every year, almost a thousand new participants are added to that number.