Global Challenges,

Local Answers.

The Foreign Council On Economic Relations is a non-partisan, non-profit organization for economic diplomacy.

We engage German leaders from politics, associations, and the private sector with foreign diplomats to explain and discuss the German perspective on current issues of European and global policy, FDI, trade, and innovation.

Steering Committee

Dr. Nazar Al Baharna


– President, Foreign Council On Economic Relations (2019 – Present)
– Board Member, Borgen Project (2012 – Present)
– President, Federal Business Associations of Germany and the Gulf Cooperation Council (2016 – 2019)
– State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain (2006 – 2011)
– Chairman, Labor Fund, Bahrain (2006 – 2011)
– Deputy Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2005-2006)

Maximilian Hoffmann

Chairman & Secretary-General

– Secretary-General, Foreign Council On Economic Relations (2019 – Present)
– Chairman, The Diplomatic Weekly (2019 – Present)
– Deputy-Spokesperson of the Executive Board, Alliance of Associations (2020 – Present)
– Secretary-General, Federal Business Associations of Germany and the Gulf Cooperation Council (2016 – 2019)
– Chairman, German Partner (2017 – 2018)
– Member of the Board of Directors, Federal Association of German Business in Ukraine (2008 – 2016)

Alexander Kulitz

– Member, German Bundestag, FDP
– Member of the Executive Board, China Brücke (2020 – Present)
– Member, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag (2018 – Present)
– Deputy Chairman, Parliamentary Group for Relations with the ASEAN States German Bundestag (2018 – Present)
– Federal Chairman, Junior Chamber of Commerce Germany WJD (2017 – 2018)

Torben Michael Theis

– Political Adviser (2013 – Present)
– Federal Deputy Secretary-General, CDU, Junge Union Germany  (2007 – 2013)
– Deputy Secretary-General, Junge Union, CDU Hessen (2006)
– Personal Adviser to Helge Braun MP, German Bundestag (2004-2005)

Matthias Bannas

– Director Communications, Federal Association of the Service Industry (2010 – Present)
– Chairman Berlin/Brandenburg, Federal Association of Communicators BdKom (2016 – 2020)


Our members are decision-makers, experts, and opinion leaders from politics, business, academia, tech, media, and culture.

With their outstanding expertise and resilient network across all sectors in Germany, they support our work, promote mutual understanding, and serve as high-level contacts for foreign diplomats and government officials on political and economic issues.

We are committed to better mutual understanding, fair trade, sustainability, multilateralism, and global prosperity.

Membership is by invitation only.