The German success model
When reporting on Germany’s successful economy, Time magazine recently remarked that many German companies have specialised in the “unsexy side of the industrial spectrum: not smartphones or iPads but machinery and other heavy equipment”.
Some German companies, such as carmakers and the world’s third-largest software supplier, might disagree and insist that their products are very much on the “sexy side” of the industry. Yet the analysis is essentially correct: highly specialised industrial companies producing highly specialised goods are the engine of growth in the German economy. Following the much-lauded era of virtual wealth creation on the financial markets, the following principle is to be kept in mind: the industry has always been a major plank of our prosperity. It accounts for as much as 22 per cent of the German economy as a whole, a share that compares favourably on a global level.
The majority of Germany’s visible exports are industrial goods. German companies are leading in many sectors and in many markets worldwide. This applies, for example, to so-called green technologies – i.e. products in the fields of environmental and climate protection. In the burgeoning sector of renewable energy, which includes photovoltaics, wind power and highly efficient power plant technology, the German economy has a high share on the global market.