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Forum @ Kanada Haus Berlin


The Forum @ Kanada Haus (FORUM) is an annual interdisciplinary conference aimed at deepening professional intercultural exchanges and the already strong partnership between Germany and Canada. Each year, the FORUM focuses on a contemporary issue of relevance for both countries in areas such as business, culture, economic security, or climate change. The conference concept is designed to offer experts from diverse fields the opportunity to network and exchange ideas. The FORUM is hosted by the Embassy of Canada in Berlin in the impressive Kanada Haus at Leipziger Platz.


The upcoming 2024 edition of Forum @ Kanada Haus, to be held on May 28th, 2024, promises to be an insightful gathering, honing in on a pressing issue for both Canada and Germany, as well as many other nations – global supply chains. Against the backdrop of a post-COVID era and swiftly shifting trade dynamics, this conference emerges as a platform to discuss geopolitical challenges, innovative solutions, and navigate the intricacies of the Supply Chain Act to meet sustainability targets.

The conference will be opened by John Horgan, Ambassador of Canada to Germany.

The program will feature contributions from the following institutions:

For further details, see the program summary below or download the full program here.

Register for the FORUM here.

Background on the Canada – Germany Trade Relations

In the year 2022, Canada held the 25th position as a trading partner for German exports – leaving behind several EU countries –  and 35th for Germany’s imports. On the other hand, Germany is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the EU, and its 5th largest trading partner globally. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, in force since September 2017 and formally ratified by Germany in January 2023, has generated new economic opportunities for both Canada and Germany, leading to an increase by more than 41% in bilateral merchandise trade (2022) in comparison to pre-CETA conditions.

Already strong trade partners, Canada-Germany economic collaboration deepened in response to geopolitical shifts and with respect to security around energy and global supply chains. For example, the “Canada-Germany Energy Partnership” established in 2022 provides a foundation for a broad exchange that ranges from support for the green energy transition to the recent example of VW’s investment to build its largest battery cell production facility to-date in Canada. Further economic and supply chain collaboration will be critical in countering ongoing unpredictability.

Thematic outline

Session 1: Are global supply chains about to snap?

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns brought the fragility of global supply chains into sharp relief and revealed the risks that interconnected economies present in some sectors. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – as well as the current geo-political and economic dynamic in the Red Sea – have further underlined how supply dependencies create global vulnerabilities. Chinese dominance in certain global resource markets, including critical minerals and rare earths, raises more questions around how this control can be leveraged politically and economically. What is the next emerging issue that will generate the next set of supply risks? And how, after decades of globalization and economic integration, can countries best pursue an economic security agenda?

Session 2: Is „friendshoring“ the solution to fix the fragile supply chain links?

De-risking supply chains needs to happen at many levels. At the political level, it requires strengthening existing like-minded alliances, and forming new ones. At the company level, it requires to rethink where materials are sourced, and a more thorough assessment of the geopolitical and climate-related risks connected to those markets. How can we ensure a steady supply of inputs and materials required to fuel industrial growth and adapt to new realities? What levers can governments use to mitigate economic risk and safeguard national security, i.e. regulations introduced by the EU, Germany and Canada on supply chains? What must companies do to reduce their supply chain risks?

Session 3: Are supply chain solutions a new early warning system of impeding supply chain risk?

Supply chain challenges and vulnerabilities require innovative solutions. In particular, supply chain visibility and traceability continue to be pressing issues for the business community. From the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, to new „supply chain due diligence“ regulations in the EU, Germany, and Canada, to the increasing desire to innovate and reduce carbon emissions, traceability will remain high on the agenda for years to come. What is traceability? How is it best implemented and what is the ROI on building this capability? Conversely, what are the risks for companies that do not invest adequately in this area?

Conference Program – May 28th, 2024

2.00 pmAdmission at the Embassy of Canada in Berlin
Leipziger Platz 17
3.00 pm9.00 amWelcome and Opening Remarks by John Horgan, Ambassador of Canada to Germany and Stefan Rizor, Chairman of the Federal Association of Commercial Law Firms (BWD) and the German-Canadian Society
3.20 pm9.20 amSession 1: Are global supply chains about to snap?

o Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director, German Institute for Human Rights

o Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Germany
o Sven-Uwe Schulz, Deputy Head of DERA, Head of Unit “Evaluation of Mineral Resources”, German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA)
o Sebastian Heinker, Senior Manager – Consulting Supply Chain, KPMG
4.20 pm10.20 amRefreshment Break
4.35 pm10.35 amSession 2: Is „friendshoring“ the solution to fix the fragile supply chain links?

o Dr. Urszula Nartowska, Senior Vice President Legal, OBI Group

o Anne Lauenroth, Deputy Head of Department, Federation of German Industries (BDI)
o Dr. Ulrich Hagel, Partner, HWCL Hagel Wiedmann Compliance & Legal
o Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg, Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy, Kühne Logistics University
5.35 pm11.35 amRefreshment Break
5.50 pm11.50 am Session 3: Are supply chain solutions a new early warning system of impeding supply chain risk?

o Matthias Rosengarten, Business Solution Architect, Optel Group

o Ellis Hall, Business Development (North America), Achilles
o Marcus Schneider, Sustainability & Regulatory Expert, Assent
o Nils Ole Arend, Key account Manager / Route Development Manager Transatlantic, Forto Logistics
o Mathias Bosse, Founding Partner, Prequel Ventures
6.50 pm12.50 pmConclusion
7.00 pmNetworking Reception

Past events

Since 2012, we have been holding the annual conference under its current name „Forum @ Kanada Haus“. Former conferences were devoted to:

Jahr / TitelBeschreibung
The Arts Beyond Borders. Perspectives on Cultural Diplomacy
Integration at Work. Canadian-German Dialogue on Policies and Realities in the Current Migration Landscape
CleanTech in Canada and Germany: Leveraging our Innovation Ecosystems
Climate Change and the Renewal of Cities / A German-Canadian Dialogue
In 2016 we tackled Climate Change and the Renewal of Cities, welcoming Michael Small from the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, Vancouver as our top keynote speaker. Adelphi, a Berlin based independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development led its credibility to our event as our conference partner.
read more
“Delivering the Goods”: German-Canadian Logistics and Infrastructure for Enhanced Transatlantic Trade
The 2015 Forum addressed German-Canadian Logistics and Infrastructure for Enhanced Transatlantic Trade and the implication of CETA on air freight and other forms of intermodal transport. Conference Partners were the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft (BVMW) e.V. and EKUPAC GmbH, Cologne.
Workplace Diversity. A long road to corporate reality
In 2014, the Forum focused on workplace diversity and its role in maintaining productivity in countries, like Canada and Germany, with ageing populations. Conference partners were the OECD Berlin Centre and the Bonn-based IZA Institute for the Study of Labor.
Harnessing Disruptive Technologies. The Canada-Germany Value Chain
In 2013, the FORUM’s success story continued with a focus on fostering, financing and application of innovation, which attracted experts from the research, venture capital and industry sectors. This time, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) and the German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVK) joined us as conference partners.
Energy Security: National and Regional Perspectives
Re-branded as Forum @ Kanada Haus in 2012, the conference sharpened its profile as a discussion platform for highly topical economic and trade issues. Experts from the economic and political sector, as well as, from professional associations came together to exchange their views on Energy Security, with the OECD Berlin Centre as a well-established conference partner and multiplier.
Global Village – Calamity or Chance?

Past speakers

Actively supporting our initiative, the Embassy of Canada has helped us throughout the years in gaining renowned speakers such as

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