US to retake top investor in Germany crown

The US is set to overtake China as champion investor in Germany, new figures show. Last year Chinese companies invested significantly more than American ones did, with those two nations leading Switzerland and France.

US to retake top investor in Germany crown
A worker at US firm Advanced Micro Devices's Dresden plant. Photo: DPA

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.

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

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Germany toughens China travel warning over ‘invasive’ Covid tests

Germany has toughened its advisory against travel to China, warning that travellers could be placed under hospital quarantine for weeks upon arrival and subjected to "invasive" medical tests even if they have previously recovered from the coronavirus.

Germany toughens China travel warning over 'invasive' Covid tests
A plane flying from Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

In its latest travel advisory update, the Foreign Ministry said that the stringent measures were imposed on “people cured of Covid-19”, as well as others who test positive for antibodies because of an undetected illness, or others who had arrived on the same flight and who test positive for the coronavirus.

“Medical measures applied by the Chinese side are invasive and include in part daily blood tests and computer scans,” the Foreign Ministry said.

All travellers arriving in China are required to serve a 14-day quarantine at a location determined by the government.

While small children are “as a rule” allowed to spend their quarantine with their parents, those aged 14 years and up can be placed in isolation away from their family.

The Süddeutsche newspaper reported that the ministry had heightened its warning after two German nationals were held in hospital quarantine for several weeks.

Both had recovered from the coronavirus previously and had tested positive for antibodies, added the report, noting that they were nevertheless forced to undergo medical tests.

The newspaper said the Foreign Ministry had filed protests with the Chinese government over how the two Germans were treated.