Mr Binsfeld, what is your role as an honorary consul?
Paul Binsfeld: My official role is to assist Luxembourg nationals who are in my jurisdiction and need help. However, I have also taken on the role to work with business development as that is my passion.
I’m basically a connector.
I’m basically a connector. I have just spent a week in Luxembourg with the aim of meeting key people in order to extend my network and figure out where the opportunities are. My objective was to get a good overview of what type of Arizona businesses could best benefit from what Luxembourg has to offer. I also met with some Luxembourg companies with great potential for further international expansion to see how I could help them reach the US marketplace.
What advantages can Luxembourg offer to US companies?
The country’s central location is an obvious asset, but I would also like to highlight the fact that English is widely spoken and that contracts in English are enforceable – a major advantage for American companies as translating and interpreting contracts can be tricky.
It is easy to get to know people in Luxembourg, and I have been amazed to see how willing they are to assist and direct you.
It is fairly straightforward to set up a business operation in Luxembourg, and most importantly, the community is small but very well established so it is fairly easy to get in contact with the people you need to interact with. Trying to navigate the different bureaucracies in a big country like France or Germany would be very different. It is easy to get to know people in Luxembourg, and I have been amazed to see how willing they are to assist and direct you to anyone who can help you get your job done.
You are considering opening a Luxembourg office for your own business, Company Nurse powered by Lintelio. Why is that?
Company Nurse powered by Lintelio helps company risk managers control and mitigate claims costs of risk episodes such as workplace injuries, liability, and auto accidents. Our technology product is in the process of going global as some of the multinationals that use our support in the US have operations across the world, including in Europe. The nature of our work means that we are handling a lot of personal medical data, which in Europe is subject to the strict rules of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Setting up an office in Luxembourg would allow us to take advantage of the high-security data centres in Luxembourg in a very friendly environment that is easy to navigate. In addition, as many people here are multilingual, it would be very easy to find staff to work on product development as well as sales and marketing in the region: Germany, France, the Netherlands and so on.
What are the next steps in the work to connect Arizona and Luxembourg?
I will come back to Luxembourg in June with a delegation of around 10 people interested in building links with Luxembourg. Several of the participants are in the space sector, one of the fields where Luxembourg is on the forefront. The group also includes a variety of investors, technology business owners, healthcare experts, and entrepreneurs skilled in the start-up space.
My goal for this first mission is to bring influential people from Arizona to Luxembourg, give them a broad view of what is happening here and offer them the opportunity to enjoy the same hospitality that I have experienced during my week here. I hope that this will be a good starting point for me to talk to companies in Arizona about benefitting from Luxembourg as their entry point to the European market.
Photo credit: Paul Binsfeld