American Companies See Opportunities in Eastern Germany

Apr 29, 2010, 09:29 ET from Germany Trade and Invest

BERLIN and WASHINGTON, April 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Germany is the top business location for American companies in Europe, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham). Germany enjoys an excellent reputation as Europe's largest market with unwavering demand throughout the downturn. In Eastern Germany, the US is the number one country of origin for foreign direct investment due to the region's growth potential, stable investment environment and concentration of high-tech industries. Dr. Thomas de Maiziere, German Federal Minister of the Interior and Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States, will be presenting key opportunities in Eastern Germany to American companies at a Germany Trade & Invest event in Washington, DC, on April 29th.

American business interest in Germany remains high. In the annual AmCham Business Barometer, 80 percent of those surveyed even named Germany as their future focal point for investments in Europe.

Minister de Maiziere provides unique insight for American businesses, as he played a key role in negotiating the terms of Germany's reunification 20 years ago, a process that set the framework for Eastern Germany's rapid economic growth. He has held several cabinet posts in the Eastern German federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony and has most recently served as Chief of the Chancellor's Office and Federal Minister of Special Affairs since 2005. With this background, de Maiziere will outline the wide range of business opportunities currently available in Germany's new federal states.

Minister de Maiziere: "The new federal states are among the most competitive economic regions in Europe. An excellent research infrastructure and numerous industrial and high-tech clusters offer very good opportunities for knowledge and technology-intensive companies."

The creation of world-leading high-tech industry clusters in Eastern Germany continues to draw American investors. The establishment of sectors as diverse as renewable energies, security technologies, information and communication technologies, printed electronics and optics has contributed to the region's status as a preferred investment location. The photovoltaic cluster Solar Valley, for example, is the largest concentration of solar companies in the world, ranging from research institutes to suppliers and manufacturers.

Information and Communications Technology continues to be an interesting field for American companies. The industry is an innovation driver, responsible for 80 percent of German innovations in other industries. A closely related growth sector for American companies can be found in the security technology cluster in the German capital region of Berlin-Brandenburg. More than 40 public and private research facilities are active in security research. At the same time, sales in the German security technology market are expected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2015, according to the German Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The optics industry is also an attractive industry for international companies. Thuringia, home of "optical valley", a dense concentration of over 160 companies with revenues topping EUR 2 billion per year, is where the world's strongest laser was developed. Carl Zeiss, Schott, and Jenoptik were all founded here. The industry serves the German market and the world, with an export quota of 59 percent, making it a prime location for international companies. At the same time, the cluster allows for excellent cooperation between research institutes, suppliers, and producers.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities to the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

    Germany Trade & Invest
    Eva Henkel
    T: +49(0)30-200099-173
    F: +49(0)30-200099-111

SOURCE Germany Trade and Invest