As early as 1266, merchants of the Hanseatic League met at the Steelyard trading base in London to do business. By 1567, the "Right Worshipful Company of Merchant Adventurers of England" was trading cloth in Hamburg. In 1926, the British American Tobacco Co (BAT) set up a branch on the banks of the Elbe River. Today, about 10 percent of Hamburg’s exports go to Britain, with pharmaceutical goods and aircraft products topping the list. Imports from Britain mainly include crude oil and natural gas as well as petroleum products. Great Britain is a perfect market for German goods as it also provides German companies with access to other Commonwealth markets.
World meets business at the waterfront
Located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, with the Elbe River as its lifeline and the city-state of Hamburg as its heart, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (HMR) is one of the most competitive regions in Germany and Europe. The region is highly attractive for international and national companies as it combines economic momentum with a high quality of life. Export-oriented businesses benefit from the broad range of services available in the port of Hamburg.
Ever since Hamburg’s port was established more than 1,000 years ago, cosmopolitanism, open-mindedness and hospitality have been continuously nourished in Hamburg. When this emerging commercial centre joined the Hanseatic League of merchants in the 14th century, Hamburg became the economic centre of the North Sea and Baltic Sea region. Hamburg swiftly turned into a true global player and cosmopolitan city. Since then, Hamburg, the “gateway to the world”, has made it a point to keep its gates open – in both directions. Today, Hamburg is one of the most dynamic cities within the European Union and continues to attract companies, institutions and professionals from around the world. Some 250,000 citizens from 185 nations have made Hamburg their new home and currently work on the banks of the Alster Lake and the Elbe River. More than 100 consular missions represent their interests in Hamburg.