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A Global Connector

As Europe’s leading economic powerhouse and the world’s fourth-largest economy, Germany has shown the world its winning formula: strong investment, low interest rates and high consumer spending. At the heart of that strength is Frankfurt, which is positioning itself as Europe’s next  financial capital to replace London in the post-Brexit era.

“We have close partnerships with financial sectors across Asia, including close and cordial working relationships with Tokyo and Singapore. And that is something which we are very happy about because we believe the future belongs to Asia,” Frankfurt Main Finance Managing Director Hubertus Väth said.

Aside from Frankfurt, the federal state of Bavaria, home to some of the world’s biggest global brands, continues to assert its dominance over the German economy.

“The GDP per capita of Munich is 72,000 euro, while Germany’s is 40,000 euro. And if you look at the ­figures from the south of the country, this part of the Germany has become synonymous to Bavaria,” said Bavarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Eberhard Sasse.

To maintain its leadership in Germany and the world, the public and private sectors in the region must work much closely together, according to Sasse.

In fact, Munich has already begun to diversify its economy beyond its traditional industrial sector and has ventured beyond Germany’s national borders.

“Business and success should always be people driven and not just technology driven. Locally and globally, communication, transparency, respect and care is key to everything. Doing cross-border business and building global companies requires passion, partnerships and most of all, people,” CM-Equity Founder and CEO Michael Kott said.

Over the past decades, German engineering has become the benchmark across the globe. Many have attributed this competitive edge to the ability of German companies to adapt quickly to market requirements and their openness to customer feedback.

ChipGlobe, a German consulting company in the semiconductor industry, embodies this strategic and logical approach and combines it with a commitment to the success of its customers.

Founded by Volker Frisch in Munich in 2014, ChipGlobe hires highly experienced engineers who can design completely customizable solutions for its clients. This mission forms ChipGlobe’s corporate culture and is the foundation of its success.

“You can only be successful if you have the right vision and value system,” stressed Business Development Director Dieter Rudolf.

Detecting growth opportunities in Asia early on, ChipGlobe set up a subsidiary in Singapore in 2015. And after opening an outsource design center (ODC) in Belgrade in 2017, the company has begun construction of a new ODC in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“We combine the strengths of German and Asian systems of quality, culture and values. If you look at the large companies in Germany, they try to reduce costs, sometimes through offshoring. If you look at places like Serbia, you have a lower cost structure but still have quality talent. The same applies to Vietnam. The long-term trend is to focus on Asia and that’s why we’re opening a new ODC and investing there,” Rudolf added.

Software giant SAP is another southern German company that recognizes that its success came only by prioritizing its customers.

“We aim to look at business challenges through the eyes of our customers first and how they are doing in servicing their own customers,” explained CEO Bill McDermott.

With experience across 25 industries and operations in 193 countries, SAP closes the gap between the application of innovative technologies, such as machine learning and arti­ficial intelligence, and the availability of predictive applications, process and insights that are in value chains to drive up productivity.

“SAP is the one company that can put it all together in a highly coherent, altruistic, purpose-driven way,” McDermott said.

Looking ahead, Germany will continue to set the pace of European growth and develop closer ties with the Asia–Paci­fic. With its robust financial sector, political stability and well developed infrastructure, the country will continue to be an ideal destination for Asian investment    

Germany 2018, Pt. 2 was prepared for and originally printed in Forbes Asia magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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