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Saxony - showcase model case for the east.

- Premier Biedenkopt Wooes Potential Investors in United States

Dresden (INP) -- The Premier of Saxony, Kurt Biedenkopf, sees "thorough-going structural change" as the prerequisite for top economic performances in the eastern German federal state of Saxony. Biedenkopf has the state of Baden-Wurttemberg as his model in mind. Located in southwestern Germany, Baden-Wurttemberg is considered a future-oriented industrial state.

The Free State of Saxony is the most populous of the new federal states emerging from the former GDR. It has approximately five million inhabitants. Saxony's industrial traditions in manufacturing, services, and commerce are considerable and date back to the early 19th century and the beginnings of the industrial revolution in Germany. Its only real German equivalent at the time was the Ruhr District.

As recently as fifty years ago, Saxony was considered of the world's most prosperous regions, and was often called the "industrial heart of Germany." Nowhere else in the new federal states are the prospects for economic renewal as auspicious as here. Its favourable location factors have attracted the interest of German and foreign investors, as Premier Biedenkopf emphasized in Dresden. Its location at the border triangle with Poland and Czechoslovakia amounts to a "gateway to the East". At the same time, it's within the European Community.

The Free State of Saxony has highly skilled workforces, and the state awards more university-level degrees than the remaining four new federal states combined. A poll conducted by Ifo (Institute of Economic Research) indicates that 40 per cent of western German investors preferred Saxony among the new federal states.

In his most recent promotion tour, the state's Premier pulled the full weight of his economic expertise to plug his elective state of Saxony in the United States.

During the first half of 1991, authorities registered some 50,000 new commercial undertakings. Germany's industrial giants also figure prominently. Thus, the Volkswagen enterprise plans to invest 4,600 million German Marks to build a new auto assembly plant in Mosel, near Zwickau.

The mail-order venture Quelle plans to spend close to a 1,000 million Marks for a new product distribution center in Leipzig. AEG has taken over the Starkstromanlagenbau Dresden and its 1,000 employees, and is working on an Iranian contract worth 300 million Marks. The German Airbus undertaking is seeking to work together with the Flugzeugwerft venture in Dresden.

Leipzig is working to regain its former status as a major center of trade fairs, the media, and of commerce.

Dresden, capital of the state, is moving to become an administrative and cultural center as well as consolidating its reputation as a center of science through the establishment of research institutes such as those run by the Max Planck Society.
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Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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