Like Baltics, Germany in throes of change

  • 2004-11-25
Criticism and stereotypes surrounding Germany as a business location are often greatly exaggerated. Because the facts speak for themselves: Germany is a better environment for doing business than many people think.

Admittedly, Germans have had a habit of seeing themselves a bit too negatively. Yet this is where some of the similarities between the Baltic states and Germany develop. This is not to say that the Balts feel sorry for themselves - in fact, quite the contrary: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are actively embracing the opportunities that EU membership has delivered and are very secure in their role as an up-and-coming economic force to be dealt with.

Rather, the similarity between our two regions lies in that we are both in a period of change. Germany is reforming its economy in preparation to meet the requirements of a globalized economy, while the Baltic states are reveling in their entrance to the free markets of the European Union.

Times of change are also times of opportunity, and globalization is a two-way street. Both regions can only profit from an increase in cross-border trade and investment. The economic links between Germany and the Baltic states are strong ones, having been built up over many years. Baltic exports have always found a grateful and disconcerting customer base in Germany. Likewise, German products in the Baltic countries have also proved very popular, consistently holding a position among the top three import partners.

The current boom in the Baltic states has given many businesses of all sectors and sizes the chance to go global with their operations. Germany offers Baltic investors an ideal location from which to start. The popularity of Baltic exports in Germany provide a solid base on which to build further operations.

To be sure, it is not just a case of favorable economic conditions but political ones as well. The current political framework in Germany has never been more attractive for foreign investors. The Agenda 2010 reforms currently under way in Germany will finally dispel the stereotypes that Germany is a country with high taxes and labor costs (to name but a few). The reforms will have a wide range of implications for domestic and foreign investors alike. Economic growth and employment will get a much-needed boost when the complex tax system and labor markets are reformed, which will not only benefit the established domestic industry but will also provide incentives and an excellent framework for international investors.

One such example is the Pro Mittelstand initiative, which will go to support small and medium enterprises in Germany - an essential part of the economy. This should be of particular interest to Baltic SMEs looking to expand their markets, as one of the Pro Mittelstand's features is devoted to attracting smaller foreign investors to Germany. Support varies from assistance in legal matters to consultation regarding financial incentives.

Invest in Germany is the government-established organization set up to act as the first stop for investors with an interest in Business Location Germany. The company endeavors to answer all of the clients questions and provide any assistance needed in regards to investing in Europe's largest economy. Perhaps now is the chance you have been waiting for. Please contact us to find out exactly what Business Location Germany can do for you.

Patrick von Wrede

Invest in Germany GmbH

Markgrafenstr. 34

10117 - Berlin

[email protected]

+49 (30) 20 657 0