Today, Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier held a video conference with Saxony’s Minister-President Michael Kretschmer and the President of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), Torsten Safarik, to inaugurate the new branch office of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) in Weißwasser, Saxony. The employees have taken up work just four months after the decision to establish a new BAFA branch office for the implementation of climate action programmes. By the end of the year, over 100 employees are expected to be working for the new branch office.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “The new BAFA branch office in Weißwasser sends out a strong signal to the region and to climate action. Thanks to its competence for important funding programmes aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, the new branch office in Weißwasser will shift the focus of energy policy in what has traditionally been a coal-mining region, and it will create jobs and opportunities for the people of Upper Lusatia. We are delivering on our promise that the Federal Government will actively support the regions impacted by structural change. We are also helping to attract other companies and enable the launch of further projects in the region.”

Minister-President Kretschmer said: “The establishment of the new branch office here in Weißwasser is a great success for the town and for Lusatia. The federal agency will create many new jobs, helping to boost purchasing power throughout the region. The new branch office is also indicative of the strong commitment from the Federal Government to the region and the people living here, and it is a milestone on the path towards making structural change in Lusatia a success. My thanks go to all those who have dedicated their energies to this project, which is a very tangible symbol of new prospects and opportunities.”

BAFA President Safarik said: “The new BAFA branch office will create jobs and prospects for the people of this region, and it makes an important contribution to the success of the energy transition. A large number of applications for the ‘Heating with renewable energy’ funding programme are already being processed here in Weißwasser. The investments projected for 2020 will provide new orders for about 57,000 installers and heating technicians. Also, the branch office will soon implement the re-adaptation benefit scheme that will ease the transition to retirement for employees of the lignite industry.”

Headquartered in Eschborn, the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) is a higher federal authority that operates as an agency of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It performs duties in the fields of foreign trade, energy, business promotion, and auditor oversight. Not least, it plays an important part in the implementation of the Federal Government’s climate action programmes and with regard to the funding programmes for businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis.