Warning signal for the location Germany

Coal power plant in Saxony

In addition to the high energy costs, the lack of skilled workers and the high level of bureaucracy make the German economy less attractive.

(Photo: IMAGO/Dirk Sattler)

Dusseldorf Germany as a location is still average at best – and that’s putting it kindly. The most recent evidence: In a study by the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses, Europe’s largest economy only came 18th out of 21 industrialized countries.

Bureaucracy, shortage of skilled workers, energy costs – the torment for companies just won’t stop. The study did not even mention dead spots or digital infrastructure.

German politics must finally pull itself together and create a location where companies invest and talents from all over the world like to live. This is the only way to sustainable growth. Germany should strive for reforms that focus on three principles:

Straightforward: Companies need an infrastructure to transport goods, transmit data or keep machines running with green electricity. This infrastructure is not being built because local residents, interest groups or municipalities are arguing and complaining and court proceedings take forever.

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Power lines, radio towers or wind farms are not built in the first place or take ages. We cannot be satisfied with that. The world is not waiting for Germany, just as Germany cannot set the rules for the rest of the world. This is exactly the impression the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act gives. The name says it all.

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Such laws are well intentioned – but they are at the expense of the general public. Companies are spending more and more time on different approvals and disclosures. A radical proposal: With each new edition, an old law must be repealed.

Smarter: Companies need skilled workers. We must therefore enable immigration, which makes us smarter. The bottom line is that 480,000 people will have to immigrate every year by 2035, just to compensate for the shrinking of the German population. The Federal Republic needs an immigration law worthy of the name.

It’s a scandal that corporations in Germany can quite easily get their own employees from the USA, but not from Egypt or Nigeria.

Predictable: Energy costs have always been high in Germany. Companies are still finding ways to deal with it. In return, they need a long-term perspective in order to be able to plan reliably. The Federal Government should place this reliability at the center of all its considerations. This also includes not switching off previous power plants, including coal and nuclear power, until the new energy supply with renewable energies and hydrogen has not only been established, but also tested.

This closes the circle. If Germany builds infrastructure quickly and easily, brings in the bright minds and offers a realistic energy supply in times of climate change – then investors will be lining up.

More: Hardly any country is worse than Germany in comparison

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