Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Germany builds future beyond E.U.

From The International Herald Tribune:

Germany builds future beyond E.U.
BY JACK EWING AND JUDY DEMPSEY

DITZINGEN, GERMANY — Germany has long sat at the center of the European economy, but Europe is no longer as central to Germany as it used to be.

With large parts of Europe still in an economic rut and struggling to cope with a debt crisis, Germany is increasingly deploying its money and energy outside the euro zone to fuel its robust growth.

The shift in focus, while still in its early stages, could have profound economic and political implications because it comes at a critical time when the rest of Europe is counting on Germany to continue its traditional role as the locomotive of the Continent's economy.

German companies, instead of concentrating their investment overwhelmingly on countries like France and Italy, are sending a growing proportion of their euros to places like Poland, Russia, Brazil and especially China, which is already the largest market for Volkswagen and could soon be for Mercedes and BMW.

The German government is following suit, committing more diplomatic resources to its growing trade partners, particularly China, whose prime minister, Wen Jiabao, brought an entourage of 13 ministers and 300 managers when he visited Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany last month.

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia brought a similar entourage with him Monday to Hanover for annual German-Russian consultations, including Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom.



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/business/global/Germany-Europes-Powerhouse-Drifts-East.html

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