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back to index backEUROtalk April,  2005


Competitive Germany

In the eyes of its European partners, Germany has become a far more competitive business location than its own executives realize. That's the chief conclusion of the latest Handelsblatt Business Monitor survey carried out by the PSEPHOS research institute.

The annual study is based on telephone interviews with more than a thousand leading executives in Germany, Britain, France and Italy. The managers, who all work in companies with 500 or more employees, were asked to evaluate conditions in their own country and those of the other survey participants. Not surprisingly, the current poll shows that Germany's competitiveness rating has improved significantly over the past year.

On a scale of 1 (excellent) to 5 (very poor) Germany is given an overall rating of 2.9. That compares quite favourably to the lacklustre evaluation it received a year earlier. The advance was so pronounced that PSEPHOS dubbed Germany achiever of the year”.

Remarkably, however, Germany's improved score derives almost entirely from the assessment of executives abroad: they awarded the country an average rating of 2.8. German managers, meanwhile, rated their home territory at 3.3. And while only between 22 and 40 percent of those surveyed in France, Italy and Britain considered their domestic conditions to be poor” or very poor”, in Germany nearly two-thirds were negative.

Thomas Straubhaar, president of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics , says the survey shows that more has happened this year in Germany than we here at home have realized”. As an example he points to the German government's newly introduced labour market reforms, which he says have effectively broken the wage cartel of the unions”. Having been the first to spot Germany's improved business conditions, foreign investors may also be first to exploit them.

Source: Invest in Germany newsletter - GAI


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