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US to retake top investor in Germany crown

The Local · 22 Aug 2012, 12:32

Published: 22 Aug 2012 12:32 GMT+02:00

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But now, an interim report from the government development agency Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) suggests the Americans are back at the top of the investor table.

“As last year, we expect a total of more than 800 new settlements from foreign companies – from sales to production,” said Andreas Bilfinger from GTAI, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“The most investors come from the US, followed by China and Switzerland,” he said.

Germany reportedly remains attractive as a base for production and research. “It is classic industries which invest here,” said Bilfinger.

That includes machine and vehicle construction, as well as the chemical and health industry.

He said Germany's energy transition, as it prepares to step out of the nuclear industry and invest in renewables, was also attracting investors.

The difficult global financial situation was putting something of a brake on inward investment though, he added.

“There is no credit crunch, but many of those who are interested are not able to get credit as easily as they were able to in earlier times,” he said. “But despite this, 2012 will be a successful year for starting new companies.”

After a recent global questionnaire of thousands of business people, the Swiss Business School IMD said that Germany was the only euro-state to belong to the top ten competitive economies of the world.

Story continues below…

Another survey mentioned by the Handelsblatt, conducted by consultants Ernst & Young, showed that 400 large and mid-sized firms in China said that Germany was the most attractive European country for investments and buy-ups.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:01 August 22, 2012 by smart2012
guys, this is not good news.. Eu should hope on Chinese money, more than American money.. China is growing, USA declining.
09:07 August 23, 2012 by 883
Smart: Your Kool Aid was made in China... This misguided trend, possibly born of uninformed/sensationalist media and a tendency to get excited about "the next big thing" has lead to a very erroneous tendency by many to understate the prominence of the U.S. and overstate the prominence of China. Also, the statement that "this is not good news" is terrifying on so many levels.

First, it is true that China's economy is growing at an incredible pace. However, a fast growing economy and a stable/sustainable economy are not necessarily the same. China is very new at this game and while they have an profound presence on the stage, they have countless areas of concern (externally and internally) that could shake them to the very foundation. There is too much to go into for this format, but a good place to start would be looking at some of the basic items in the world bank's love letter to help baby China with her first big steps so she doesn't poke that tender foot on the spikes out here in the world economy. Joking aside, a big show of action does not always mean a secure and safe nest is crafted to place all of one's eggs (sounds kind of like a Chinese proverb). China's growth is incredibly promising, but they really are currently infants (albeit starving ones) on the modern economic stage.

Now for the really disturbing part that WE NEED TO GET THROUGH TO US. Investing in, aiding the growth of, and encouraging the spread of Chinese economic strings is not currently in any free nation's long term interests. In China's current state it seems the world is effectively feeding cells that have been identified as malignant and then making policy that goes the extra mile to get them to metastasize. A communist government, a country with nearly no environmental policy, a country that disregards basic human rights at every turn in the way that China does, and one that is even (heaven forbid) more deceitful than the U.S. government is THE LAST PLACE THAT ANY OF THE FREE WORLD SHOULD BE HAPPY TO SUPPORT! This is such a simple concept and it is one that we seem to be blind to. Until China has drastic changes, let's make Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, even Brazil or India the economic superpowers of the world before we go and cheer on the threat to us all that China represents on a level far beyond what even the U.S.'s worst critics affix to her. Simply put, U.S. investments in Germany ahead of China = Great News!
13:46 August 23, 2012 by smart2012
just to clarify, what I wrote is not related to my wish, it is a fact. China is a giant, and they will become more and more leading the world economically - u can even see this from the olympic games medals... :-).

there r many examples where Chinese conmpanies are beconming global leaders (example from last week Lenovo vs HP), and this will continue. Western countries has reached the top of the curve, and now they will be either stable or declining while China/India/Brazil/Russia are at the beginning of the curve and they will keep growing. Until we (western guys) do not want to realize this and keep saying "our quality is better than China", we will never succeed and actually we will keep fighting each other on the lowest priority issues (eg greece). Another example which is killing europe at the moment is oil price... No one of our politicians is doing anything about this, as they are talking about Greece (42 Euro worth of money per european person)
20:22 August 23, 2012 by 883
The Chinese growth is unquestionable. The stability and nearly any intention/effort to support this unchecked juggernaut is the questionable component. I stand by the statement that U.S. investment in Germany is great news and Chinese investment dominating would be bad news.

You are completely correct regarding western "smugness" being dangerous. But the flip side is that we simply need to stop pretending that China is unstoppable and end the mindless march to bolster and thus self fulfill the prophecy of their further rise to -unchecked- prominence. So much of their presence has been the work of and is still largely facilitated by us (in the west). As a side and sadly, we can all pat ourselves on the back for bolstering their military development when we buy from the Chinese government since there are few other ways to buy Chinese. The mercy of the international community toward China is unusual for a country with such growth. Their growth has (relatively) little to do with their own merit and is therefore (again for many reasons beyond the scope of this) a fragile thing despite what on the outside looks to be unfailingly strong. Additionally, even if/when China has the most economic activity, they will also have an unfathomable economic burden that will not do much to ensure internal stability. They have probably future growth pains that could present internal challenges like the world has never seen, and from security/stability position, they are far from "sitting pretty". We are talking about strife far down the road, but still very real. In other words, China becoming the leading economy does not make China the leading power... They will need it to just scrape by. However, their insecurities that are frequently manifest by their exaggerated efforts to impress will surely continue to result in impressive infrastructure development.
20:50 August 23, 2012 by Ferro
883 asked me create an account and post the rest of his thoughts since he clicked "submit" before finishing his post and so sent me the text document. Here's the rest:

Russia is another matter. Russia is not in great shape either. Take the oil away and beyond ties to China there's not a lot of substance in the economic pot. Western Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, Brazil, and India have the ability to move toward unprecedented economic prosperity if some of those countries/regions will get their own economic houses under control. That is an acknowledged big "if". China and Russia will largely depend on it as well... We need to help each other in the west. Europe needs to pull for the U.S. and visa versa. We need each other more than ever

As for the Olympics discussion, I do believe this applies in many cases. However, in all fairness, when a country has 1.3 billion people to choose from and a government that can essentially do as it chooses to a competitor or his/her family if performance is sub-par there really is NO EXCUSE to have lost a single medal to another country. The performances at the Olympics do not primarily portend Chinese prominence as many suggest. This is Chinese population and Chinese governing methods resulting in what is actually far fewer wins than they have an excuse for. Western minds simply interpret events in western terms instead of being able to comprehend such a population and reprehensible governing approach.

I completely agree with you regarding the problems that the west is faced with. But it is not right to hand the platter over to China when it is not necessary at this point despite the mantra that so many are almost trying to plant in the western cultural/social subconscious. A wake up is needed. The writing is not yet "on the wall" for the west OR for China. Interestingly enough, a number of Chinese economic analysts recognize this and state it more willingly than many westerners or western news outlets. This blind march must stop and eyes need opening.

I really love your reference to Greece and remarks regarding the lackadaisical approach of our politicians because it is so very true. Like I said: The European and the U.S. relations need to be stronger more than ever. Both are partners in the world with a similar vision of what is good. Both DO have a chance still to not only remain strong but also to grow significantly. To preserve and ensure this, both need the other. This is not at the total exclusion of China, but certainly something different than possibly suggesting U.S. investment in Germany is less desirable than Chinese.
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