Mecklenburg County, N.C. and Mecklenburg, Germany: Celebrating 30 Years of a Business and Cultural Partnership

Panoramic view of Rostock, Germany

Mecklenburg County welcomed a delegation from Germany to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a “Proclamation of Business and Cultural Friendship.” Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and the modern-day State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany formed the partnership in 1994 and celebrated the special relationship in a ceremony on March 4.  

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg region has historically fostered a close relationship with Germany. The City of Charlotte was named in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of England’s King George III. Mecklenburg County was named in honor of her birthplace, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany. The city’s nickname, “The Queen City,” originates with Queen Charlotte.

BOCC Chair George Dunlap stands with Patrick Dahlemann from Mecklenburg, Germany during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of a “Proclamation of Business and Cultural Friendship.”
Chair Dunlap and Patrick Dahlemann

The ceremony featured a proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners and the signing of a renewed partnership between Mecklenburg County, N.C. and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The partnership between the two Mecklenburgs is intended to strengthen the business, cultural, and educational bonds between the two regions and between the two nations. Once upon a time, Charlotte-Mecklenburg was known for textile manufacturing and many of the companies that sold and serviced textile equipment were German—a historic beginning of the region’s business ties with Germany.  

Today, more than 100 Germany companies operate in Mecklenburg County, and companies such as Siemens, Lesser, HTL perma, Schubert, and Bosch Rexroth, have recently announced major expansions.  

“Our partnership with Germany has been fruitful and judging by the strong presence of German businesses in the county, I am sure that the return on investment has been equally beneficial to our German counterparts,” said George Dunlap, chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. “In addition, both our cultures have been enriched through our strong ties. It is my hope that our partnership will continue to grow and strengthen with time.”

The partnership also preserves an important link to the history of Mecklenburg County and its residents. With this celebration, Mecklenburg County reaffirms its support for education, science and culture, and encourages opportunities for enhanced educational, cultural and civic exchange between the two partners to promote further cooperation. Patrick Dahlemann, head of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Chancellery, compared the renewal of the partnership to a renewal of marriage vows.  

“We are proud to be together. We will remain faithful to one another, and we still have plans together,” Dahlemann said. “I’m very pleased that we are celebrating and symbolically renewing the 30-year partnership between Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. In this special relationship, it was the same name that brought us together in the first place. Our partnership agreement states that we are proud to bear the same name.”  

The State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is in northeast Germany. It has a population of more than 1.6 million and is about one-fifth the size of North Carolina in land area. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was first established after World War II, dissolved by the Soviets in 1952, and re-established with German reunification in 1990. Its capital city is Schwerin and its largest city is the port city of Rostock on the Baltic Sea.

The celebration also featured remarks from Melanie Moltmann, consul general, Federal Republic of Germany, in Atlanta, and Reinhard von Hennigs, honorary consul, Federal Republic of Germany, in Charlotte.