U.S. Business and Today's Germany: A Guide for Corporate Executives and Attorneys

Article excerpt

U.S. Business and Today's Germany: A Guide for Corporate Executives and Attorneys, by James A. Hart and Dieter Schultze-Zeu. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books, 1995. Pp. 236. $59.95 (hardcover).

The authors of U.S. Business and Today's Germany seek to provide all of the vital information that domestic and foreign companies need to successfully enter the German market. They note the significant advantages available to investors and multinational companies doing business in Germany, while objectively acknowledging some of the drawbacks.

Hart and Schultze-Zeu review the various business considerations, including political, economic, and social considerations that have emerged from the unification of West and East Germany. They then analyze the effects of the German unification on the conduct of business. The book provides extensive details upon economic variables (such as gross domestic product, economic growth trends, tax burdens, inflation, corruption, and industrial production) in comparing and contrasting business in Germany, Japan, and the United States.

The authors begin their analysis of the conduct of business in Germany with an examination of the principle methods of exporting to Germany. The methods described include: exports directly to Germany; exports through trade intermediaries; sales through German agents and distributors; sales through representative offices and branches; sales through establishment of new German corporations; joint ventures; license agreements; franchises; and leasing arrangements. The authors then describe the effects of the German government and legal system on German business. In addressing the German legal system, they provide a comparison with the U.S. legal system as well as an overview of the role and functions of lawyers and the court system in the conduct of business.

U.S. Business and Today's Germany then provides an overview of the legal aspects of the European Union, of which Germany is a member. This chapter discusses the Treaty of Maastricht, the European Monetary System, the Single Market concept, and the freetrade block of the European Economic Area. …