Relations between the State capital and the German city of Kaiserslautern are poised for a major leap forward after the visit of a high profile team from there to the city.

In a chat with The Hindu here on Saturday, Mayor of Kaiserslautern Klaus Weichel said both Thiruvananthapuram and his city were similar in their pace of growth and there were several areas of potential collaboration.

Similarities

A scientific approach and strengths in technology were common to both cities and there was a great future in tourism and culture for them, he said. The visit, during which his team met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, had resulted in fruitful discussions to take existing joint ventures to the next step and to initiate new projects.

The team comprised Dieter Rombach, Executive Director, Fraunhofer Institute; Michael Wenk, owner and CEO of PRE-Park, Kaiserslautern’s equivalent of Thiruvananthapuram’s Technopark; Werner Weiss, CEO of leading software firm Insiders Technologies GmbH; and Daniel Kutscher, a teacher from the Hohenstaufen Grammar School, which has entered into a student exchange programme with Christ Nagar International School here.

Change in approach

Dr. Rombach said the approach of the companies had changed drastically since the team’s last visit two years ago. Many had now realised that Kaiserslautern was serious about carrying forward the ties between the two cities. He saidthe Fraunhofer Institute was looking at partnerships in research in applied sciences. Mr. Wenk said discussions with several firms in Technopark had resulted in an agreement to extend support to firms from here which wanted to set up base in Kaiserslautern and vice versa.