Eastern Germany still has a lot of potential for start-ups
The commission "30 Years of Peaceful Revolution and German Unity" sees a lot of catching up to do for the East German states. It hopes that the capital Berlin will have a pulling effect.
Start-ups in East Germany have a hard time. This is the conclusion reached by a commission convened by the federal government, which is to provide general recommendations for the further unification process. In its final report, it also identifies economic weaknesses in eastern Germany that make it particularly difficult for start-ups to gain a foothold in Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg or Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The commission, consisting of 22 public figures, comes to the conclusion, among other things, that the competitiveness of the East German states must be strengthened. "The difficult starting position in the eastern German states - ageing, low population density, weaker economic structure - requires special political efforts if this part of the country is to participate successfully in globalisation," write the authors of the report. For this reason, risk capital for start-ups should be given tax breaks and production conditions improved. Furthermore, business associations should give start-ups greater recognition.
The Commission also sees advantages
The authors draw hope from Berlin, where every third German start-up is based. The capital city must serve as a growth engine for the whole of eastern Germany, the authors write. East German start-ups, Berlin's scientific landscape and the region's companies should also be specifically linked. "This also includes better infrastructural links between the various East German regions and Berlin and its international airport," the report says.
The Commission hopes that the geographical location of the capital in the middle of eastern Germany will have a radiant effect on the entire eastern part of the Federal Republic. It also lists other growth regions with a certain appeal, including Chemnitz-Zwickau, Leipzig-Halle, Dresden, Rostock and central Thuringia. The Commission sees lower property prices and more available land as an advantage for eastern Germany, which would open up new opportunities for rural regions.
The Commission was set up last year. It is headed by the former Minister President of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck (SPD). In addition to politicians, the commission includes industry representatives, celebrities such as Jan-Josef Liefers and economists such as Marcel Thum, head of the Dresden ifo Institute.
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