Welcome Address by Angela Merkel

Welcome Address

Bundeskanzlerin Dr. Angela Merkel | © Laurence Chaperon

"Germany is the strongest economy in Europe and one of the largest worldwide.

Few countries are as tightly connected into the world economy as ours is. We are a preferred destination for foreign investors; nearly four percent of international direct investment flows into Germany.

In just 2008 alone, this number totaled 12 billion Euros. More than 45,000 foreign companies in the country employ more than 3 million people. Almost one in four jobs is dependent on the export sector.

Germany's international competitive strengths do not happen by accident. Rather education, research, and innovation are outstanding positive points of our country. As an engine of technology in Europe, Germany is in the league table of patents relevant to international markets and, measured according to population size, is number two worldwide in this category.

We are leaders in machine building and in the automotive industry. German companies are also excellently positioned in future-oriented areas such as laser, medical, and nanotechnologies. They profit from the outstanding research climate, the intense cooperation between science and industry as well as Germany's highly motivated and qualified workforce. Joy in discovery, entrepreneurial spirit, and attention to quality all mold products "made in Germany."

In addition to an excellent investment climate Germany offers international investors outstanding economic conditions. Consequential structural reform and a moderate development of unit labor costs have significantly improved the competitiveness of businesses in Germany. We have brought our corporate taxes to a level that is attractive in international comparison. Not to be forgotten, a first-class infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and a high level of legal security contribute to putting Germany regularly in a leading position in international location comparisons.

Germany is a tolerant country and is appreciated around the world as a reliable partner. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our country."

Dr. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor