German States Go after Foreign Investment

By McCrary, Ernest | Global Finance, November 1999 | Go to article overview

German States Go after Foreign Investment


McCrary, Ernest, Global Finance


German companies are big investors abroad, but their home states are becoming increasingly active in pursuing foreign direct investment from around the world to boost employment and expand their technological base. A group of economic development experts and investors discussed these activities with Global Finance's Ernest McCrary in Frankurt.

GLOBAL FINANCE: With regard to the effort to attract investment into Germany, have attitudes been changing? Could you compare the current climate with the climate a few years ago? ANDREAS VON STECHOW, deputy director general, economic affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Germany is looking for foreign investment. We have a very modern, open market economy and a lot of competition.We are also eager to create jobs.

STEFAN FEUERSTEIN, member of the executive board, Industrial Investment Council: The importance of developing markets in Germany is one of the main reasons to directly invest in Germany as a whole. Germany will be not only a place to serve the interim market but also will be a springboard in the European Union.

HELMUT DORING, director, Federal Center for Foreign Invest meet, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology: Globalization means open markets. Germany has always had a great interest in foreign investment, and we have already attracted more than 11,000 companies from abroad. We welcome all new investors, particularly in high tech and modern service sectors.

HARALD ROTHIG, managing director, Saxony Economic Development Corporation: Globalization is increasing the need of foreign investments in Germany as a whole. What will boost the need for foreign investment are international divisions of labor and the international corporation.

DIETMAR DUDDEN, chairman of the board of directors, Hamburg Business Development Corporation: Foreign investment enhances the business activity in the local areas. In Hamburg we concentrate on trading- and service-oriented companies such as banks, insurance, and media, including the Internet.

PEER CHRISTOPHER STANCHINA, first counselor, economic affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: With foreign direct in vestment, you attract capital and employment that is particularly needed in Eastern Germany.You also create local taxes.

STEPHAN JUNGEN, project manager, Economic Development Corporation of Nordrhein-- Westfalen: Nordrhein-Westfalen is the biggest German federal state and has been the cradle of German heavy industry. Although we have been extremely successful in managing the necessary structural change, we still need foreign investment to attract new technologies, new ways of thingking, and above all, new and additional jobs.

PETER-R. PUF, director and chief economist, DaimlerChrysler: We need foreign investment because domestic investment has been so low during the past years.We have an investment gap. We also need new technologies and ideas in addition to capital.

URDA MARTENS-JEEBE, director, Office of the Commissioner for Foreign Investment in Germany: We don't have an investment gap. We have a change in investment relations. What we need is more companies to develop their products in the German market and use Germany as a basic market for going into the emerging Eastern market.

FLORIAN STRASSBERGER, head of sectoral analysis, DG BANK:All kinds of investments, foreign and local, are market-driven. With the introduction of the euro, companies aren't looking for opportunities in individual European regions but are trying to create a base within Europe. This is an opportunity Germany should try to exploit.

RAWER STENZENBERGER, project manager, America, HLT Group:You need the new impetus from outside in such fields as biotech and new media.We did a project with Amazon.com. The company established a new warehouse facility in our area with 600 jobs created.That's the biggest project we've had in the past few years.

JORG POTZSCH, vice president, administration and finance, Atugen: My company is a biotech company in Berlin and a successful example of foreign investment. …

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