Birmingham has reinforced its close connections with Germany as the popular Frankfurt Christmas market returns to the West Midlands.

Last week the German Ambassador to the UK, Georg Boomgaarden, came to region where he visited E.ON in Ironbridge and ThyssenKrupp in Witton.

Law firm DLA Piper – which has five offices in Germany – also hosted a dinner with Business Birmingham, the inward investment programme of Marketing Birmingham, for a number of German businesses based in the city, which was attended by 40 guests including representatives from Gerhlicher Solar AG, Jewi Renewable Energies Ltd, Bosch Thermotechnology, Ostermann UK, Chiltern Railways, Forresters Patent Agents and PWC.

The Ambassador and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Coun Anita Ward, also officially opened the Frankfurt market which last year was estimated to have boosted the local economy by nearly £90 million.

Herr Boomgaarden said: “The Frankfurt Christmas Market, which has been part of Birmingham’s Christmas celebrations for more than a decade, represents the important relationship between these dynamic twin cities.

"It is a pleasure to be opening the Market this year, and meeting with some of the German companies based in Birmingham – which has established itself as a leading European business location.”

There are more than 300 German-owned companies based across Birmingham and Solihull, including Deutsche Bank, ThyssenKrupp and Continental Ag.

In the last decade, the country’s investment into the area has created nearly 1,000 new jobs. Since 1991, the West Midlands region has attracted 232 investments from Germany.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: “On average, each German investment into Birmingham creates or safeguards 50 jobs – with our strong automotive and financial services sectors performing particularly well.

"The events that have taken place this week will continue to build up the city’s profile with overseas businesses, generating investment and boosting growth.”