Can Germany’s industry remain competitive in the 21st century? That question has consumed the country’s politicians and business community for months. Many are concerned American Internet giants have taken too big a lead in the digital age.
But those fears might be partially assuaged by a new poll showing an overwhelming majority of U.S. firms operating in Germany believe the nation’s industry will be capable of defending its edge in the coming decades. In a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham), close to three-quarters of the companies think German businesses have a rosy future.
However, that positive sentiment is based more on a fundamental regard for German companies than on what has been achieved so far – only a small minority of the U.S. firms consider Germany ready for the upheaval of the digitization of manufacturing.
That alone is no cause for concern, said Cavin Pietzsch, chief marketing officer for General Electric’s energy division in Germany. “The Germans are often cautious when approaching new things, but at the same time that is a strength because they carefully set up their business model,” he said.