A major event designed to boost trade links between the West Midlands and Frankfurt is taking place on 17 November at the headquarters of Birmingham Chamber, in Harborne Road, Edgbaston. The business briefing will be attended by many leading figures from the German city, including the Lord Mayor, Peter Feldmann, and Eric Menges, president and CEO of FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, who will deliver a keynote address.

The event, on 17 November, will be opened by Birmingham Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner. Frankfurt is the fifth-largest city in Germany, and has a population of 750,000. The city is twinned with Birmingham, and the Chamber event is also a celebration of the 50th anniversary of this arrangement. The city is a key financial centre in Europe, and is headquarters not only to several leading German banks but also the European Central Bank.

Frankfurt is also home to Messe Frankfurt, one of the world's largest trade fairs. Other major fairs which take place there include the Frankfurt Motor Show, the world's largest motor show, and the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest book fair.

The city is home to companies from the chemical, the transportation, the telecommunication and the energy industry, and is a key automotive centre, with South-Korean car maker Kia Motors moving its European headquarters there in 2007. In the same year, Italian manufacturer Fiat opened its new German headquarters in Frankfurt.

The 17 November event, which is open to all, begins at 8.45am and concludes at 1pm. The event has been organised by Enterprise Europe Network Midlands (EEN) and will feature a number of speakers, including Sven Riemann, head of marketing services at the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, who is an expert on the opportunities in Germany, and Gerti Willis, a communication and culture adviser from the Department for International Trade.

EEN project co-ordinator Craig Biffen said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt and other specialist speakers on Frankfurt and Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse.

“Frankfurt has a long relationship with Birmingham and there are already many trade links between the two cities, which, thanks to direct flights, are only an hour apart.”