The German economy is extremely innovative

Dr. Benno Bunse
Friday, September 30th, 2016

Special Editions
El Mercurio

The general director of the Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) will be one of the main guests of the 7th Chile-Germany Economic Conference 2016, organized by CAMCHAL, the Chilean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where it will analyze the impact of the High-Tech-Strategy and 4.0 Industry.

Despite all the political and economic challenges Europe faces today, Germany remains the “engine” of its economy. What is the basis of this strength of the German economy?
“It is the combination of several factors, which defines the success of the German economy, as it unlike many other countries, maintains its strong industrial structure.
Another stamp of the German country, are its medium sized companies with a strong international vocation, which implies a very diversified economy and a presence in practically the whole world. It also allows us to have thousands of ‘champions’ on which we base the economic success of our country, which better shields us against the swings of other markets. Added to this is a highly developed infrastructure and a virtually unique system of universities and research centres.
The German economy is extremely innovative. In fact, we lead by far the registration of new patents in Europe, maintaining for years the number 1 place.
And let us not forget our highly skilled workers, who ultimately determine the competitiveness of Germany as a place of production.
The trade unions also have an important role, they fight for workers’ rights and for higher wages, but do not see themselves as the enemy of the companies, but rather as an important partner, whose main interest is that the economy works and the situation improves. ”

Chile suffers strongly from the ups and downs of commodity prices. In its history, Germany has also been a mining country and had to face major crises. How did you as a country manage to transform and take the road to an “economy of knowledge “?
“The entire German economy has been transformed many times, not just its heavy industry. For decades, have German companies been ‘global players’ facing international competition, which requires constant reinvention and it requires that the products we produce are better than those of the competition, based on our high quality seal and our ability to innovate.
When an item is no longer competitive, it has to find a way to renew itself in order to survive or it will not have a future. Therefore is the collaboration between politics, business and trade unions infinitely important.
Looking to the future, the ’4.0 Industry ‘ implies that we are living a new industrial revolution. Everything will change, the production processes, the workplaces. We see it as a great opportunity and Germany will be a leader in this development”.

What is the success of the High-Tech-Strategy based on? Is it a strategy applicable to other countries such as Chile?
“The secret of the success of this strategy lies in the close collaboration between State, science and economics. We have to ensure the right framework conditions for science and the economy as a whole in order to be projected into the future.
The progress made by Industry 4.0 can be used in all areas where modern and high-value products and services are offered. However, the implementation of Industry 4.0 will require the use of high-tech machinery and the existence of extraordinarily well-educated and well-educated human capital, regardless of where in the world they want to set up these industries. ”

Germany attracts investors from all over the world. What are the advantages offered by the German market? What are the international companies that invest in Germany looking for?
“Any company is naturally looking to generate profits by absorbing technology and know-how, which are the objectives of the companies that invest in Germany.
In addition, from Germany you can enter both our national market and the European market, which today is the largest internal market in the world.
If we look at Germany, we can also highlight its excellent scientific system, the academic world and the training of technical professionals, the State of law and social security.
Productivity is high, production costs are currently at an intermediate level within Europe. The infrastructure is modern and will receive massive investments in the future.
To this is the protection of intellectual property and equal treatment for German companies and international companies added.
And let us not forget such important aspects as, for example, a good free school system, and an excellent health system. Being able to live in a modern country and open to the world is a value in itself. In short, there are many elements that favour Germany as a place of investment”.


How is Chile perceived from Germany?
“When one looks at Chile from Germany, one perceives reliability, a healthy and low-debt economy, a functioning democracy that offers certainty.
It also has a long ‘German tradition’. A reflection of this is the trajectory of the Chilean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which proudly celebrates this 2016 with 100 years. This close link is already a good reason for the interest of German companies and investors in Chile.
If we add to this, the weight of industries such as mining that require modern machinery and industrial facilities, where German companies have much to contribute. Chile’s strong commitment to renewable energy also offers opportunities to Germany thanks to its strong expertise in this segment. As you can see, Chile and Germany complement each other perfectly in economic terms. ”

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