For this year's survey Ernst & Young questioned 814 international decision‑makers on the attractiveness of the European Economic Area. Additionally, 205 international managers were surveyed specifically with regard to Germany. 38 percent of respondents saw an increase in the attractiveness of Germany in 2009 despite the impact of the economic downturn. At the same time, 54 percent expect a further increase in Germany’s attractiveness in the next three years. This represents a considerable improvement compared to last year's study (2009), when only 37 percent shared this opinion. On a global scale, Germany has surpassed Brazil to assume fifth place in the list of the most attractive investment locations. The ranking is led by China, India and the U.S., followed by Russia and Germany. China has therefore reaffirmed its global leadership position, while India, making slight gains, has overtaken the United States.
Germany's position is particularly notable in light of Europe’s general performance in the survey. Despite a decline in the attractiveness of both Western and Eastern European countries – which have suffered a more severe slump – Germany has been able to strengthen its position. Germany received top ratings for a variety of location factors, with above all infrastructure (including telecommunications, transport and logistics), the qualifications of workers and the research and development landscape in Germany being rated ‘excellent’ by the managers surveyed. They also positively rated Germany’s management of the economic crisis. 64 percent of respondents praised the German measures to tackle the economic downturn, while last year this figure was only 49 percent.
The future prospects for Germany were also found to be positive in the survey. 40 percent of the surveyed companies are planning to invest in Germany, compared to 31 percent last year. Responding to the question “Where do you see Germany in 2020?”, 36 percent indicated that Germany would be the world leader in environmental technologies, 22 percent saw Germany as a future centre for research and development, and 21 percent indicated that Germany would be a global model of a successful, entrepreneurial society.
According to Michael Pfeiffer, managing director of Germany Trade and Invest, “These survey results demonstrate the continuing attractiveness of Germany as one of the world's top business locations. Despite a year full of challenges, Germany has successfully positioned itself as a stable location for investment. With its innovative research landscape and highly skilled workforce, Germany offers companies a variety of business growth opportunities”. According to Peter Englisch, a partner at Ernst & Young, “Germany has coped surprisingly well with the severe economic slump of the past year and is now getting high marks for its high quality product range, price competitiveness, high share of the global market and diversified exports. In the current global economic upturn Germany is in a particularly good position to prosper from these specific location advantages.”