The German government wants to strengthen the country’s economy through high-tech exports and more investment in transportation, energy and telecommunications. But at the 5th Dialogue Between Social Partners this week, representatives of employers and unions couldn’t agree on where the money would come from.
Germany’s innovative power must be preserved, Chancellor Angela Merkel told the gathering in Meseberg, about 70 kilometers north of Berlin. She talked about a new high-tech strategy that her cabinet was expected to ratify on Wednesday. According to officials at the talks, the government is concentrating on areas such as the digital economy and society, sustainable economies and innovative working environments.
There was agreement between the government and the social partners that investments must be increased if Germany is to retain its innovative vitality. “The net investment quota in private companies is not high enough,” said Finance Minister Sigmar Gabriel. “The same applies to investment by the government.”
Eric Schweitzer, president of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the focus of government should be on investing in the future. “But more leeway also needs to be given to companies for investments and innovations,” said Mr. Schweitzer. He argued for a return to the declining balance method of depreciation for investments and better conditions for risk capital. The government especially should not make changes in inheritance tax laws that could hurt companies, he said.