“The new normal” is a phrase we hear a lot these days. But how ‘new’ is the new normal? Has the business landscape in Germany really altered that much as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?
Certainly, if you had predicted a year ago that Germany would see meteoric rises in demand for things like surgical masks, virtual education solutions and robot cleaners, a lot of people would have given you a funny look.
The initial shock of Covid-19 certainly created a tidal wave of new needs. But it has also accelerated and intensified transformations that were already taking hold in Germany prior to spring 2020: automation, digitalization, sustainability, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, to name but a few. These pages abound with examples of business ideas whose day has come much sooner because of all the disruption.
What has not changed is the nurturing environment Germany provides for the vast majority of business ideas from all over the country and the world. The FDI numbers from 2019 remind us where the German economy was before the pandemic. And the German government’s response in coping with temporary emergencies and stimulating recovery is very much in keeping with the country’s tradition of both a socially responsible and a free-market economy. We all win if everyone does – that could be the motto of this issue of Markets Germany.
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