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The constant whining harms Germany as a business location

The German disaster scenarios of gas shortages, power cuts and waves of bankruptcies apparently have an undesirable effect: Overseas investors are withdrawing from the local start-up scene.

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The constant whining harms Germany as a business location

The German disaster scenarios of gas shortages, power cuts and waves of bankruptcies apparently have an undesirable effect: Overseas investors are withdrawing from the local start-up scene.

Politicians, authorities and even Germany's business associations have been outdoing each other with horror forecasts since the beginning of the Ukraine war. The motivation is domestic. Every industry wants its own aid package, politicians want approval for unpopular steps. But in doing so, Germany, which is always self-centered, forgets what image it creates of its own location abroad.

Investors in the fundamentally optimistic USA have little understanding for the typical German desire for decline. They take the exaggerated warnings at face value - despite well-stocked German gas storage facilities and an amazingly robust economy. They already prefer to send their venture capital to English-speaking London or to Paris, where President Emmanuel Macron has made start-up funding a top priority.

That hides the immense success that the German start-up scene has to show for itself. In the past decade, a real start-up ecosystem has emerged in Berlin, and Munich has advanced to become a European high-tech location. They are entrepreneurial feats, recently increasingly positively accompanied by politicians: from the vaccine hero Biontech to the fashion mail order company Zalando to ambitious developers of light rockets, flight taxis and cancer therapies who still want to prove their success.

Access to American and Asian investors is crucial for the international success of the most ambitious German founders - much more important than any state start-up support fund from Berlin and Brussels.

That's why Germany needs to present an optimistic image to the world again as soon as possible - of a country in which it is also worthwhile for foreigners to invest, start a business and work. You can't do that by constantly highlighting worst-case scenarios. Politicians must convey entrepreneurial courage, not permanent fear.

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