This year's Ernst & Young study surveyed 814 international decision-makers on the attractiveness of the European economic area.
An additional 205 foreign companies were asked questions specific to Germany as a business location. 38 percent of those surveyed indicated an increase in Germany's attractiveness in 2009, despite the effects of the economic downturn. At the same time, 54 percent expect Germany to continue to increase in attractiveness over the next three years. This marks a jump from 37 percent in the previous year's study.
In international rankings, Germany surpasses Brazil to become the fifth most attractive investment location. The rankings are led by China, India, and the USA, followed by Russia and Germany. China reconfirmed its position as the top location worldwide, while India gained slightly to surpass the USA in this year's survey. Germany's jump is remarkable in the context of overall European performance in the survey. Despite a decrease in attractiveness of both Western and Eastern Europe - the latter experiencing a sharper drop - Germany strengthened its position.
In a wide range of business location factors, Germany receives top marks. Managers awarded positive ratings to Germany's infrastructure (including telecommunications and transport & logistics), qualified workforce and research and development landscape. Germany's handling of the economic crisis also receives positive ratings. 64 percent of those surveyed praise Germany's policies for managing the downturn. This marks an increase from 49 percent in the previous year's study.
Germany also showed strong indicators for the future. 40 percent of companies surveyed plan to invest in Germany, an increase from 31 percent in the previous year. In response to the question "How do you see Germany in the year 2020?" in which multiple responses were possible, 36 percent indicated that Germany will be a global leader in environmental technologies. A further 22 percent saw Germany as a center for research and development and 21 percent indicated that Germany will be a global model for a successful, entrepreneurial society.
Michael Pfeiffer, Chief Executive of Germany Trade & Invest: "These survey results reflect Germany's ongoing attractiveness as a top global business location. Despite a challenging year, Germany has positioned itself as a stable investment environment. Driven by a cutting-edge research landscape and exceptionally skilled workers, Germany creates a wide range of opportunities for businesses."
Peter Englisch, Partner at Ernst & Young: "Germany has handled the severe economic decline of the past year exceptionally well and earns points with its high-quality product pallet, competitive pricing, high global market share and strong position in terms of exports. In light of the current global upswing, Germany can benefit with above-average strength from these specific location advantages."
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 in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.
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