What does the future hold for Germany’s economy in the next decade? This was discussed by representatives from politics and business at this year's annual reception in Mainz.

Carbon neutrality requires dialogue

On January 13, our sales manager Philipp Schollmayer attended the third annual business reception organized by the IHK Rheinhessen. Germany's largest New Year's reception of the regional economy took place for the 21st time. The 14 participating chambers represent over 100,000 companies with more than 450,000 employees. They represent the interests of medium-sized companies and act as intermediary between politics and business.

President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Rheinhessen, Dr. Engelbert J. Günster spoke for more technology neutrality in climate policy. It is crucial to achieve a sustainable improvement in climate without restricting the development prospects of the economy. Only with modern, innovative technologies Germany might be able to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, which is intended EU-wide. However, this poses enormous challenges for Germany. He further explained that the change to electromobility in die automobile industry would result in massive job cuts and lead to uncertainties among highly qualified employees. Günster warned: "It will now be crucial that politics and business intensify their dialogue, but are open to synergistic technological solutions and balanced, holistic approaches."

Digitalisation affects all sectors

The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer answered the chambers' questions concerning relevant topics. They talked about the skilled worker shortage in health care, which Dreyer would like to counter with higher wages and more social recognition. Nursing robots, however, cannot be a holistic solution because they cannot replace humans. In our view, artificial intelligence could be used supportively.

The discussion about the rise of new Legal Tech companies clearly showed that a good digitization strategy is essential for every industry and is becoming increasingly relevant. All economic sectors must be able to adapt to future market conditions in order to remain competitive. Optimized work processes and automation are crucial and can not only increase efficiency, but also save costs and working hours. Sometimes new business models are even created in this way.

Invest in the future

After more than a decade of strong conjuncture, Germany is now in a phase of economic uncertainty, said guest of honour and FDP chairman Christian Lindner. The current strong economy is due to special conditions such as the so-called baby boomers, the artificially low external value of the euro and technology exports. However, there is no guarantee that this will continue. He also explained the politics should not insist to break even. Rather, the use of public investment should be checked and planned better. Dr. Günster made a similar statement: “It is not due to too little money, it just has to be called up and brought to work.” This is the only way Germany could secure the prosperity of future generations.

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