<!–:en–>Zfort Group Germany is taking part in 4. E-Commerce Business Club Leipzig<!–:–>

Zfort Group Germany is going to take part in the 4. Business Club organized by E-Commerce e.G., Leipzig. The topics are 'Social Monetization' and nd trends in the world of social commerce.

Social media such as Google Plus and Facebook have long been used as an important communication channel and Markus Besch, managing director of SMI SocialMedia Institute and Felix von Kunhardt, CEO of Sellaround GmbH are going to share their experiences and ideas with Zfort on how to use social media even more effectively. Some of the keywords of the event are ‘social reach monetization’, ‘social media resource planning’ and ‘social mobile startegies’.

By January 16, 2013 the new TOEIC iOS app by English-Team and Zfort Group will be finished and the Business Club will be a great opportunity to implement some of the Markus Besch’s ideas into our app marketing campaign.

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&lt;!–:en–&gt;English language enclave in Leipzig: Lingustika GmbH&lt;!–:–&gt;&lt;!–:de–&gt;Lingustika GmbH: Eine englischsprachige Enklave in Leipzig &lt;!–:–&gt;

There are quite a few international companies headquarted in Leipzig and one of them stands out because all their staff are native speakers of English from three different countries: USA, Australia and Ireland.itfinal

The company is called Lingustika and they provide business consultancy services to Leipzig based entrepreneurs and companies. Part of Lingustika’s portfolio is an individualized business trip package for German business people who want to establish contacts in the US. In addition to the German parent company there also exists a US subsidiary: Lingustika LLC.

The package includes a trip to New York City, a number of business meetings with prospective partners and clients as well as leisure activities such as alpine skiing. Such a trip is an excellent opportunity to learn English while meeting new people and doing business at the same time.

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<!–:en–>Interview with Dirk Feiertag, Candidate for Mayor of Leipzig <!–:–><!–:de–>Interview mit Dirk Feiertag, Oberbürgermeister Kandidat der Stadt Leipzig<!–:–><!–:ru–>Interview with Dirk Feiertag, Candidate for Mayor of Leipzig <!–:–>

 “I don’t want to be a moralizer”

The 33 year-old lawyer Dirk Feiertag wants to become mayor of Leipzig on 27th January 2013. In the interview the independent candidate talks about the fraud of Hartz IV recipients, ticketless local transport and his chances of winning the elections.

English-Team:
Mr Feiertag, if you won the elections, you would be the youngest mayor of Leipzig since Reunification. Aren’t you worried that people won’t take you seriously?

Dirk Feiertag:
Absolutely not. I have done my homework. I am a lawyer and I am well informed about how administration works legally. The other thing is that I have been politically active for many years. I know how people in a large group work together well.

English-Team:
What qualities must a city leader have?

Dirk Feiertag:
A mayor should know about administration, be in touch with the people and ensure that the administration acts lawfully.

English-Team:
You stress time and again that you don’t want to become part of “Leipzig’s clique”. But don’t you think that that will happen sooner or later?

Dirk Feiertag:
I have been politically active since the age of 13. I have grown up in the youth environmental movement. I have also chosen my profession as a lawyer very deliberately, in order to fight against unlawful administration conduct, for greater social commitment by the state and for an ecological co-existence. And during all these years I have remained true to these principles – and of course I will continue to do so as mayor.

English-Team:
When did you make the decision to stand as a candidate?

Dirk Feiertag:
In recent years I have become increasingly annoyed by the city administration. I have observed that not only has it dealt with several cases unlawfully, but also on a large scale. For instance, regarding accommodation costs for Hartz IV recipients. It is worded quietly but very openly that it is cheaper to pay lawyers of the few ALG II recipients who are willing to complain. However the majority of Hartz IV recipients don’t dare do this, as they receive less money for rent and must pay it themselves out of the low standard rate. That is a worthwhile saving for the city. And that can’t be.

English-Team:
One of your campaign propositions reads: State administration must become more transparent. A nice slogan but how is this claim to be implemented?

Dirk Feiertag:
Transparency means that every citizen must be able to go to the city administration and say: I want to be informed about this. The city administration must then say to the citizen what they have decided in a specific case and allow them to look at the administrative records. For citizens to participate, they need to be fully informed.

English-Team:
But isn’t rather a general disillusion with politics responsible for only a small number of people being interested in local politics?

Dirk Feiertag:
Disillusion with politics originates as a result of people thinking: We can’t change anything anyway. What the city of Leipzig has understood until now by citizen participation is really a PR campaign. In the future there must be real citizen participation forums where people realize that they can really talk with each other. When citizens are taken seriously and they realize that their suggestions for improvement are being implemented, then this encourages an interest in politics.

English-Team:
You want to do away with tickets for public transport. How is this going to be financed?

Dirk Feiertag:
I am calling for a ticketless but not free public transportation network (ÖPNV). What happens currently is that the system is partly financed by tickets, which in the end costs more than creating a ticketless system. The whole thing would be financed by contributions from Leipzig residents and Leipzig businesses that would benefit from a ticketless ÖPNV, and by tourist taxes. This means that we finance local transport in a different way, by a kind of tax.

English-Team:
What advantages does it have for the city?

Dirk Feiertag:
It would be very innovative. Leipzig would thereby be a beacon in Europe and that would improve the profile of the city. You wouldn’t need any ticket machines, inspectors or ticket marketing. You actually save money and increase convenience at the same time. So more people would also change from cars which damage the climate to trains.

English-Team:
Many car drivers won’t be enthusiastic about this idea.

Dirk Feiertag:
I don’t want to be a moralizer either. I have a bicycle, I like walking, I travel a lot on the ÖPNV, but I also have a car. Everyone must decide for themselves what is convenient. That’s why I also campaign for different transport users to work together and not against each other.

English-Team:
Change of topic: 40,000 immigrants live in Leipzig. What will you do for this segment of the population if you become mayor?

Dirk Feiertag:
The interests of this group should receive more attention. People, who have an immigrant background, are often treated worse at the job centre in Leipzig. I know this from my work as a social lawyer. I would like to take action against this discrimination, which also still exists in the administration. If you think about the people who come to Germany as refugees, in my opinion the living conditions in the refugee homes are inhumane. I am committed to placing nearly all refugees in normal housing.

English-Team:
More and more foreign businesses such as the company Amazon have settled in Leipzig. Would you like to create more incentives for international companies in the future?

Dirk Feiertag:
Above all, I will promote the strengthening of small and medium-sized companies, because they put down deep roots in Leipzig. I have a very ambivalent relationship with international companies such as Amazon. My concern is to achieve social and ecological city development. And that also includes jobs. As a lawyer, I know exactly what Amazon jobs are about, here they consist of very low wages. Many Amazon employees are additionally Hartz IV recipients and in my opinion that is not socially sustainable. As mayor, I will also campaign so that Amazon isn’t co-financed by the city.

English-Team:
Does that mean that you are sceptical about such large companies?

Dirk Feiertag:
If they operate under fair conditions, then of course I am happy. I am against — be it an exemption from site taxes or low-cost provision of commercial spaces — honouring such companies with gifts, which then after one or two years go bankrupt or move to the next country.

English-Team:
Speaking of migration: People, especially young people, often leave Leipzig because they find a job in the western states. What do you want to do to counter this trend?

Dirk Feiertag:
One thing that the city of Leipzig can do more is, for example, going to graduates – especially in the technology sector – and saying: So you don’t want to stay here in Leipzig. We will provide you with cooperation partners, especially as regards to business start-ups.

English-Team:
To finish, hand on heart: As an independent candidate, have you really got a chance of winning the election?

Dirk Feiertag:
In the city of Markranstädt, immediately before the gates of Leipzig, an independent candidate managed to win the mayoral elections just a few weeks ago. And that is not an isolated case. Especially in East Germany a larger proportion of mayoral candidates are elected independently. Many citizens have had enough of parties and finally want issue-based politics. And that works better with an independent candidate.  So I think my chances are very good.

The interview was carried out by Gina Apitz for English-Team.

&lt;!–:en–&gt;Dextra-Law and English-Team go Biogas&lt;!–:–&gt;

Biogas power plants are one of Gemany’s major green energy resources. That’s why English-Team and the Leipzig-based law firm Dextra-Law have teamed up to launch a biogas power plant company called ‘Biogas.ag’. German and international investors now have the opportunity to benefit from Germany’s growing biogas energy industry.

This Thursday we are meeting with our first potential investor, a Ukrainian entrepreneur who has run his own airline in the United Arab Emirates, to negotiate the purchase of two existing German biogas power plants and we will be creating more investment opportunities in the German and Ukrainian biogas industries.

Below you can download an overview of the project in German. Also, we have acquired the two domains biogas.ag and bioenery.ag which we will use to promote our biogas activities: Biogas Powerplant Investment Opportunity

Here is the presentation in Russian: Biogas investment opportunity in Russian

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&lt;!–:en–&gt;New International Leipzig Start-up company: Lingustika GmbH&lt;!–:–&gt;

Leipzig’s international business community has grown by the addition of yet another start-up company: Lingustika GmbH. As of now, the team consists of an anglophone triumvirate Ralf Meßmann, an Irish German entrepreneur who is 100% bilingual, an Australian investor and Kevin Bell, an American businessman who also runs 341Hilfe, another Leipzig based German/American firm.

Lingustika provides a range of international business consulting services, especially for German companies who plan to promote their products in the United States or even want to set up an American subsidiary. In addition Lingustika offers language services such as translations and business English training.

The company is also building two web-based business — an online language learning community and a shop where expats can order native food and candies they can’t get in any other store in Germany. In a few months you will be able to buy food from the UK and Australia at www.expatfood.de

As for the company’s name, ‘Lingustika’ is based on the words ‘linguist’ and ‘gusto’ since Lingustika GmbH offer language and business consulting services on the one hand and expat food delivery on the other.

Many people I have mentioned the company to have pronounced the name as ‘Linguistika’ and that’s also what Google suggests if you type in ‘lingustika’. However, over time Google will learn that Lingustika is a thriving online business because more and more people are going to search the term. Since Google analyzes how often the term ‘lingustika’ is sought, it soon will stop suggesting ‘linguistika’ when you type in ‘lingustika’. This is one aspect of modern SEO.

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&lt;!–:en–&gt;Vodafone increases LTE coverage in Germany&lt;!–:–&gt;

Yesterday I spoke to Ketan Mahapatro, who works as Verification Manager, Mobile Next Generation Platforms at Intel Corporation. He says that Vodafone Germany is a key account of Intel and that Vodafone plans to increase their LTE coverage dramatically by the end of 2013.

As of now, Vodafone LTE is available only in large cities, making any LTE plans and packages rather unattractive. According to Phone Guide Germany, Vodafone’s competitor, Telekom is planning to offer LTE coverage in over 100 German cities and 2,000 rural areas with Telekom’s 4G by the end of 2012. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to correspond with reality since in many regions of Germany even UMTS coverage is very thin.

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<!–:en–>GreatView: Chinese company creates 120 jobs in Leipzig<!–:–>

The Chinese company ‘GreatView’ has set up an aseptic packaging facility near Leipzig at the Autobahn A14. GreatView is the international market leader in the packaging industry and the company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Plant manager Stefan Mayer says that there are two reasons why GreatView chose Leipzig as its European location.
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First of all, Leipzig is situated in the heart of Europe and has an excellent logistics infrastructure. In addition, you can find a large pool of qualified employees who will contribute to GreatView’s European growth. It goes without saying the production costs in Leipzig are higher than at GreatView’s headquarters in Hong Kong. However, the increased production costs are easily compensated by much higher sales prices in Europe.

GreatView’s Leipzig facility is a 13,000 square meter operation where two robots are churning out aseptic packaged products around the clock. The plant has now 100 local employees for the test phase and 20 more will be recruited once the operation reaches its full capacity. What’s most interesting from English-Team’s perspective is the fact that the corporate language at GreatView’s Leipzig plant is English rather than German. CEO Stefan Mayer says that his Chinese colleagues provide constant support via daily video conferences. His receptionist, Xin Zhou speaks three languages: Chinese, English and German.

The GreatView Leipzig project is only the beginning of a process that I would call ‘reversed globalization’. In the near future, more and more Chinese companies will set up European operations in and around Leipzig to get direct access to the German consumer and B2B market. 000-958

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