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The end of globalisation – does Germany need a new business model?

Business Model Germany


Own publication in cooperation with BayernLB



„If we can no longer rely on globalisation as we know it, where are the growth markets for German companies?“
Dr Michael Böhmer

Globalisation has lost its momentum or even stagnated – not only since the corona pandemic. The German economy, which has done well from export business for decades, must therefore look for new business areas beyond the traditional large foreign markets. In a joint study with BayernLB, we show how companies can now set the right course in the face of falling exports.

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Opening up new export markets

The development of second-option geographic markets such as the Philippines and Nigeria is particularly promising for the future. This poses challenges for companies and requires an individual analysis of which markets are particularly favourable for a particular company for its business model. The “made in Germany” label is a decisive factor for a successful market entry.

These emerging markets from the second row offer long-term potential

Annual growth rate of real gross domestic product by growth components 2018 to 2030, in %

Source: Prognos View/VIEW+ Modell


In the new markets, more easily constructed, robust products – for example, machines and equipment – are often more likely in demand, than those from the technologically demanding premium sector. Hybrid business models, combining traditional industrial approaches with digital technologies, are particularly promising in the development of innovative export products. Open platforms enable real-time analysis and storage of data from machines installed worldwide.

Competitive factor sustainability

Sustainability will become an increasingly important competitive factor in the future. On the basis of its technological know-how and its pioneering role within the EU, Germany can make even greater use of the global trend towards increased sustainability. If there is a political will to curb climate change, this will not be possible without substantial investment in environmental technology, which in turn opens up innovative business opportunities.

Strong German position in the environmental technology growth segment

Germany's share of world exports in individual segments of environmental technology in 2017, in %

Source: Prognos Umweltwirtschaftsmodell envigos


Greater consideration of domestic demand

Numerous new business opportunities are also available in Germany. The companies that will succeed domestically will be those that understand early on how structural change processes change domestic demand and are able to develop a suitable product portfolio.

These domestic business opportunities also extend to public investment. We expect higher levels of government investment into infrastructure in the future, for example, in transport or digital infrastructure. The planned corona measures to support the economy and transformation should significantly increase the level of public investment in the coming years.

"Whether it be new geographic markets, new products, or a stronger focus on the internal market – what all these measures have in common is that they are based on the strengths of the German economy to date," sums up study author and Prognos chief economist Dr Michael Böhmer.

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Your contact at Prognos

Dr Michael Böhmer

Chief Economist, Head of Corporate Solutions

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Our work on this topic

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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