The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, has brought about significant changes for Eastern Germany. Our short film explores some success stories, including start-ups and traditional companies, subsidiaries of foreign giants and world-renowned research institutes.
Thirty years ago, the two Germanies became one again. A lot changed in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification on October 3, 1990. With five “new federal states” and the reunited city state of Berlin, the territory of what had been Communist East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, became part of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The process of reunification brought many challenges, but also numerous opportunities. During the last three decades, a lot has improved. Massive investments have been made in infrastructure. Historic city centers and cultural monuments now shine with their former splendor. Public research institutes have been established – often building upon existing industrial traditions. Companies from inside and outside Germany have set up branch offices and production facilities. And firms from Eastern Germany have also successfully integrated into international markets.
Today, industry's share of gross value added in the new federal states exceeds the EU average. Berlin has become the start-up capital of reunited Germany, and other cities and regions in the east also offer excellent environments for young companies thanks to start-up centers, incubators, support programs, and the like. Industrial clusters and networks connect major players from business, education and research and promote innovation through mutual exchange.
Eastern Germany’s cutting-edge business sectors include cleantech, nanotechnology and new materials, biotechnology, information and communication technologies, health care and medical technology, and photonics.
The success of the Eastern German reconstruction project can also be indirectly measured in internal investment. According to fDi Markets, a total of 841 investment projects settled in the new federal states during the period 2014 to 2018. Today, three decades after the fall of the Wall, reconstructed Eastern Germany ranks among the world’s most attractive and innovative investment and technology locations.
Among the international companies that have invested in the region are Pfizer Pharma, Goodyear Dunlop Tires, Ypsomed, Globalfoundries, Greatview Aseptic Packaging and Bell Equipment, along with many other small, medium-sized and big companies.
GTAI experts are happy to advise you on the business opportunities available in Eastern Germany.
For decades, Berlin was not seen as an important industrial location. But in recent years, start-ups have been transforming the city, and 3D printing technology has become a major driver of change. These innovative companies are looking for international cooperation and finance.
The phase-out of coal mining in Brandenburg has pushed the chemical and plastics industries to the fore. Around 600 companies are active in this sector in the eastern German state, and are pushing growth. A number are based in Schwarzheide.
The area around the town of Anklam in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is traditionally agricultural. Now, healthcare companies from Germany and abroad are discovering the benefits of the northern German location.
For a long time, the city of Görlitz, on the border with Poland, suffered from the decline of the coal industry. But the Saxon city is being regenerated as a tourist location and is now positioning itself as an attractive real estate location with several advantages for investors and international companies.
The future looked bleak for Halberstadt in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt – a city dependent on a dying industry. Then it became one of eastern Germany’s “model cities for reconstruction” and developed into a hub for medical technology.
Ilmenau in Thuringia has successfully made the transition from traditional industry during the GDR era to a prime, modern location for technology. Companies can find large industrial sites for development and a strong local science network.
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