Business Barometer survey: Transatlantic companies plan to expand activities in the U.S. and Germany – despite the difficult overall geopolitical situation.
Menne: Priority should be shaping transatlantic relations in this new era.
Triad of abolishing tariffs, creating a Digital Transatlantic Economic Zone and an energy partnership are the foundation of cooperation.
Berlin, April 7, 2022 – The U.S. companies in Germany and German companies in the U.S. that participated in the Business Barometer survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) are optimistic about their business prospects despite concerns about the overall geopolitical situation. The signs are pointing to growth: Ninety percent of the U.S. companies surveyed in Germany expect an increase in revenue. More than half plan to increase their number of employees and investments in 2022.
AmCham Germany President Simone Menne emphasizes: "Companies are planning to expand their activities in the U.S. and Germany. In these geopolitically difficult times, it is essential to strengthen investment locations on both sides of the Atlantic. Politicians must put transatlantic cooperation at the top of the agenda in all areas of economic policy in order to shape the new era."
Transatlantic companies see a need for action above all in trade liberalization and in the reduction of tariffs. Cooperation in the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on a number of issues is a right step. But the TTC's negotiating points do not go far enough. "An important impetus for companies would be a clear roadmap to perspectively abolish all tariffs," says Simone Menne.
"The LNG agreements on energy supply between the EU and the U.S. show that transatlantic cooperation can be agreed quickly and effectively," Menne says. The energy sector offers many other transatlantic cooperation opportunities for which companies are waiting in the wings. Meeting climate targets is a global task that can only be mastered together.
Digital policy cooperation must also be further expanded. The agreement between the EU and the U.S. on new rules for the transfer of personal data is an important step. There is now an opportunity to create a joint Digital Transatlantic Economic Zone. Over 60 percent of the companies surveyed see joint transatlantic positioning on digital policy issues as the most important area for action. "The Digital Transatlantic Economic Zone, underpinned by the values of democratic industrialized nations, can better generate the prosperity that comes with digitalization and ultimately solidify the Western understanding of values, including in business, at a global level," says Simone Menne.
An additional current short survey among AmCham Germany members shows that 93% of the participants expect an increase in the importance of transatlantic economic relations. The results also highlight the concerns of AmCham Germany members in the current situation with regard to energy prices, supply bottlenecks and inflation trends.
Survey results show: Germany is an attractive business location with a highly qualified workforce but high energy costs
Germany is rated as a good or very good investment location by 59% of the U.S. companies operating here. Forty-three percent of the companies expect the investment conditions to improve in the next three to four years. U.S. companies particularly emphasize the quality of the workforce in Germany (95%), the potential as a sales market (84%) and the quality of R&D (68%). The need to catch up is seen in the quality of digital infrastructure, corporate taxation, labor costs and energy costs. "The fields in which Germany has deficits have been known for some time," says Marcus Berret, Global Managing Director at Roland Berger. "Now it's a matter of quickly reducing the deficits and developing our own strengths in these fields."
U.S. companies continue to expand business activities
In 2021, many U.S. companies were able to expand their business operations in Germany. They recorded an increase in revenue (61%), in the number of employees (47%) and in investments (44%). U.S. companies are optimistic that the trend will continue, with 90% expecting revenue to increase this year and 61% saying they will expand operations over the next three to four years. Marcus Berret: "The figures show that Germany is a growth market for U.S. companies. However, this will only continue to work in the future if Germany continuously develops its investment conditions."
A look at the U.S.: A strong investment location and positive expectations for 2022
The majority of German companies surveyed in the U.S. expect rising revenue (78%) and an increase in employees (59%) in the current year. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they would further expand their activities in the U.S. Investment conditions are rated as good or very good by 78%. Fifty-eight percent expect investment conditions to improve. German companies particularly value the potential as a sales market (91%), the framework conditions for startups and entrepreneurship (82%) and the quality of digital infrastructure (73%). German companies see the greatest need for improvement in the quality of infrastructure, labor costs, visa issuance and the overall reliability of politics in the United States. "Overall, German companies give the U.S. an excellent score," sums up Marcus Berret.
About the surveys
In February and March 2022, AmCham Germany, in cooperation with Roland Berger, surveyed transatlantic companies on business conditions in Germany and the United States as part of the Transatlantic Business Barometer 2022. A current short survey on the impact of the war in Ukraine was conducted among AmCham Germany members at the end of March to supplement the results of the Barometer.
The results will be presented today at an event in Berlin by AmCham Germany President Simone Menne and Marcus Berret, Global Managing Director of Roland Berger.
- The results of the Transatlantischen Business Barometer 2022 in German and English.
- The results of the short survey on the impact of the war in Ukraine.
Follow our coverage of the Barometer via the hashtag #TransatlanticBusinessBarometer.
About the Business Barometer:
The AmCham Germany Transatlantic Business Barometer is an exclusive survey among U.S. investors in Germany and German investors in the U.S. The survey provides a well-founded analysis of investment sentiment as well as a business assessment of both countries. For over 15 years, U.S. companies have been surveyed as part of the AmCham Germany Business Barometer. As in the previous four years, German companies in the U.S. were also surveyed this year.
About Roland Berger
Roland Berger is the only management consultancy of European heritage with a strong international footprint. As an independent firm, solely owned by our Partners, we operate 50 offices in all major markets. Our 2400 employees offer a unique combination of an analytical approach and an empathic attitude. Driven by our values of entrepreneurship, excellence and empathy, we at Roland Berger are convinced that the world needs a new sustainable paradigm that takes the entire value cycle into account and enables us to meet the profound challenges of today and tomorrow.
About AmCham Germany
The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) is the voice of transatlantic business. We strive to enhance global economic and trade relations built on a strong foundation of American and German partnership. We actively support and promote our members' interests through our global networks in business, politics and AmChams worldwide. AmCham Germany enables cross-cultural understanding, cooperation and new investment through our commitment to transparent dialogue, unrestricted trade and a competitive and open business climate.
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