Monday, February 25, 2013

Country brief: Germany

Country brief: Germany
Germany is one of the richest European countries in the world. It is the country with the highest level of skills and technological advancement. Most of its nationals have better standards of living as compared to the nationals of the other countries since they have an advantage owing to their low population. This has therefore enabled the government to appropriately plan for them in terms of creating opportunities in order to lower their cost of living. This essay is going to explore the versatile dynamics of the country as regards their culture, covering their languages, dress mode and eating habits and also their business conduct and basic etiquettes. The essay is also going to cover the economic background of the country in relation to its Gross domestic product and the key industrial sectors, in relation to the opportunities they create for the development of business. We are also going to look at the contribution of investors in the country and the role that have played so far in its economic development.

Germany is located in the center of Europe and it borders countries like Austria and Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands (The central intelligence Agency, 2013).
Map showing the location of Germany in Europe and the neighboring countries.
Map of Germany
Its climate is mainly cool and wet exhibiting characteristics of both marine temperate climatic conditions. It has a population of about 82,424,609 people with the greatest composition coming from the German community, with the rest from Greece, turkey and Poland. Most of the people are Christians with only a percentage of about 3.7 % coming form the Muslim community (The central intelligence Agency, 2013). The official language spoken in the country is German with most of the people in the country speaking it as a first language. However, the other minority groups speak Sorbian and Danish languages (Coy, 2011).

 Below is a map showing the various population distributions in Germany.
The society is characterized by a culture of high organization and specific planning. They are best regarded as the masters of planning as they are mostly involved in thought and activities that can help them purge forward. Due to the high planning culture, most of the people from the region are financially safe and secure. It is also believed in Germany that respect for people and knowing one’s limits in regards to what you can do to people or in certain places is very important (Rogowski, 2010). There is a clear demarcation between their work and their individual lives; they are never mixed at any one time. It is also clear that there is a culture that fosters doing the right thing at the right time, an indication of proper and clear planning. At home the principle is the same. They believe in thorough organization with most of them being very neat and tidy. The comfort of their home is only made open to close friends and acquaintances with most of their greetings being conducted in a rather formal manner. It is essential o carry gifts when going to a Germans home since this is the way in which things are done and to arrive on time is a basic etiquette and code of conduct, after which you are required to send a formal handwritten letter expressing gratitude for the invitation received, a day after the visit. They also practice continental table manners and are very essential for a visitor to remain standing before they are formally invited to acquire their seats (Kwintessential, 2013). Meals will only be eaten once the guest gives an invitation to do so quoting something like “gutten app├ętit” to imply have a good appetite. While eating it is essential that ones consumes all the meal that has been given, appropriately eating them by folding the salads and not cutting them, breaking rolls by hand, allowing the host to initiate the toast and through avoiding to lean on the table with one’s elbows(Kwintessential,2013).
It is also highly important that one maintains a formal dress code that is not revealing but rather conservative at all times. Business meetings have to be conducted in suits and women are not allowed to spot accessories and jewelries that make them seem very conspicuous
(Kwintessential,  2013).
Pictorial representation of appropriate dressing modes in Germany
            Just like at dinner, it is important that time is kept while attending business meetings and that you wait for your turn before entering an office. The culture maintains that business is carried out in closed doors (Kwintessential, 2013).Despite this however, Germans are not hostile individuals. On the other hand however, they can be described as very formal and keen to details. Their main foods include combination of dishes ranging form pork to poultry and fish. They love to eat healthy and thus their meals are usually accompanied by lots of vegetables. The pretzels are a regioanl cuisine in the eastern regions.
common meal
Economic analysis
Over the period, the economy of Germany has grown and developed top emerged as the 10th best economy in the European continent and this is a remarkable establishment because it has reflected on the significant increase in the performance of the economic attributes. The depiction of the data about the country of Germany is based on the consideration of the research findings that was conducted and evaluated in the 2013 index. In this regard, the research findings has stated that with a population of 81.8 million, the countries GDP has stabilized at $3.1 trillion dollar which is an equivalence of €2,270 and this represents an growth of 3.1% from the previous period. Analysis of the overall depiction of economic growth shows that the compounded growth of the economy for a period of five years is attained to be 1.1%. This depiction is beneficial because it reveals that the economy has continued to grow. Normally, another attribute for ascertaining the authenticity of economic growth is the use of per capita income that represents the per capita earning of the nation. Normally this is calculated through the use of total population and the GDP. In this regard, the per capita income of the nation has been established to $37,897which is an equivalence of €1245 (Kwintessential, 2013). Further analysis of the economy has shown that the country exhibits partial income distribution where the aspects of income distribution are skewed. Asymptotic income distribution in the German socio-economic aspects has ensured that the wealth of the nation is accorded to 20% of the population. With regard to the consideration of development, the nation has devised ideal commitment measures that are geared towards realization of efficiency in the open-market and this attribute has enhanced reduction in the inflation rate that currently stagnates at 2.5% while the unemployment rate has also been reduced to 5.5%. These two aspects are crucial for the establishment of economic growth.
            The analysis of the demographic information from the CIA world facts has revealed that the Germany has a population of 8.1 people and the recent survey and prediction in the economy has highlighted a growth rate of -0.2%. Generally, the consideration population growth considers the attributes of surplus from the migrants that may b entering or living the concinnities’ of Germany and this has resulted in a deficit. The demographics of the nations show that 74% of the population resides in the urban areas while minimum population resides in the rural areas. On the same note, the rate of urbanization has been established to be 0% (Braun, 2012). Certainly, the country is exhibited by more women than men depicted by the rate of 43% against 44% for the men. With regard to the consideration of the literacy levels, it is stated the children of 16 years have the capacity to read and write and this data translates to 99% of the population in the nation of Germany (Braun, 2012). In this aspect, the economy has extremely high literacy of 99% and this has helped in the establishment of performance. With regard to the consideration of the above factors, the country has low unemployment rates of 5.5% showing that majority of the population seeking employment are employed because there is a huge supply of labor force to meet the daily needs of the industries (Kwintessential, 2013). Finally, the ethnic composition of the nation shows that the following subdivisions German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4% and other 6.1%.
In the wake of the recession that hard hot most of the countries in the world, Germany was the hardest hit. It experienced significant fall in its economic activities with its gross domestic product going even to below 4.7%.However in the consecutive years of 2010 and 21012, the economy was able to pick up and the gross domestic product (GDP) was revived to about 3.7 and 3 % respectively (Braun,2012). It is said that the biggest contributor to their GDP was as a result of the fixed investments which went up by around 5.6% therefore resulting to improved construction climate in the year 2011(Braun, 2012).Germany is also a trading partner to New Zealand contributing to about 2.7 billion to its economy in the period ended 2011.This trade is conducted two way between Germany and the neighbor New Zealand and it has been very helpful in contributing to the country’s trade benefits.
As a country Germany has many factors that are enabling it to sustain its long term development growth plans (Braun, 2012) .These are inclusive of a very able and willing workforce which is also an added advantage owing to the fact that they are also very highly skilled. Other factors like proper infrastructural systems and good but stable institutions have also aided in the development of the German economy and in fostering the country total income and revenue generated.
However, the country is mainly characterized by a work force that mostly comprise of old people since the population has become static and is therefore being restrained in growth (Paterson, 2012). This will have adverse effects on the economy as the country’s potential growth rate is deemed to fall by about 1% in the following seven years to come. However, their gross domestic product has been assumed to grown by an average rate of about 1.8 percent yearly in the next period to come better than the previous years but is not enough to be equalized in measure as the income attained by the united states.
In terms of the industrial sector and its contribution to the economy, it is stated that the manufacturing industry is a major contributor of the GDP with a contribution mounting to amount 19 percent and with an employment rate of up to 20 percent of the total population in the country (Braun, 2012).
German market place
The manufacturing industry is majorly characterized by car assembly industries which are every essential in the development of vehicles and other metal products. It is encouraging to note that most of the manufacturing companies re operating in their desired operation capacities and are also employing more people to work in their companies as a result of the high demand for better quality produced vehicles from Germany in the Chinese country.
Other industries like the agricultural producing companies however have effect to the GDP of the country being that they employ about 2 percent of the total population and that they offer a total GDP of about 1 percent (Braun, 2012).This figure is actually negligible in the real world since its contribution is actually very insignificant. The banking sector ion the other hand however is constantly exposed to foreign policies which have necessitated the development of stringent regulatory and supervisory guidelines in order for the government to better regulate the performance of the investment channels/platforms. However, the country is making plans to ensure that the banking sector has been aligned during the next midterm period.
German business centre
Trade and foreign investment in Germany has been propelled mainly through good governance with the government of the country offering a conducive climate for foreign direct investment thus allowing for investors to come into the country (Braun, 2012). This has also been fostered through better terms of trade where the foreign investors received the same treatments as local German investors. The eastern part of Germany has however received better foreign investment as compared to the western states. As studies show, the investment climate in the east has been able to earn Germany at least 6.6 billion us dollars just in the first six months of 2011 although this was a dramatic fall compared to that which was earned in 2010.This is partly attributed to the fat that other developing countries pulled back Germany to ensure that their economies grew after the financial crisis.
The largest income earner for Germany in regards foreign direct investment is china (Braun, 2012) .Due to the availability of highly skilled workforce in the German country; Chinese nationals find it essential to invest in the country so as to reap the possible benefits of the economy. Other countries have as well carried out investment in Germany especially in the areas relating to automobiles and transportation.
The political stability of the country has also contributed positively to the growth of the economy (Paterson, 2012).The country is widely known for its peaceful coexistence and tranquility. It is governed by a federal council body owing to its federal parliament republic characteristics. Bilateral trade opportunities in the country are also very high with most of its exports being transported to France, followed by the United States and the Netherlands. It is estimated that the total earnings received from its exports are about us$1440 billion as far as the year 2011 was concerned (Braun, 2012).Machinery equipment emerged as the major exports, followed by vehicles and electrical machines. In the same year also Germany exported to the capacity of about us$1227 billion. Just as the Netherlands is German’s biggest export country, so was it also the biggest importer. It mainly imports mineral fuels and other products such as machinery and other electrical equipment in relation to what it does not produce.
In 2011 Germany was able to export a range of commodities to New Zealand from eggs to milk and other dairy products that getting about NZ$775 million in cash from the country as income n regards exports (Braun, 2012). On the other hand however, Germany imports products like Vehicles machinery and electrical appliances form Germany spending around NZ$1.9 billion of their total income to New Zealand. The sectors of the economy that can be expanded in Germany owing to the bilateral trade it does with Germany are like The health care sector since it is so far the largest in the European countries having up to 5 million of the total population employed as work force (Braun,2012). The total expenditure spent on the economy is almost 11 percent of the total income earned by the economy. High technology is maintained in this sector with very high quality delivery techniques. Despite it’s first hand service equipment and performance Germany is still able to offer the cheapest service in relation to cost to its nationals. Other potential areas include the home care facilities. In relation to investment these sector creates a lot of opportunities to those who view it as a profitable venture (Pierenkemper& Tilly, 2012). This is regarding the areas such as telemedicine and clinical information systems no to mention that e-prescriptions and e-referrals are also very marketable ventures.
Towards its contribution to the economy, the food and beverage sector has been very beneficial. This is due to high demand that is rising as a result of convenience and the need to take in healthy and nourishing foods. However, since Germany does not have its own foods processing plant, most of its foods and beverages are imported from other countries therefore making it the largest importer of food s and beverages n the European market (Pierenkemper& Tilly, 2012). Most of the sea food that is consumed in Germany is as a result of importation form the other countries as well. Many households are spending more on sea food each and every day especially on fish. Other types of foods that are also exported for consumption in Germany are the green shell mussels which mainly come from New Zealand. However, Germany counters there importation of food through exportation of wines to other countries. In fact, Germany is the largest importer of wide all over the world with Italy. France and Spain being the most wine consuming countries (Braun, 2012).
Another major economic contributing sector is the engineering and manufacturing industry especially in the production of renewable and efficient energy which has made Germany one of the strongest competitors to align with in the world. However, the plastics manufacturing industry are still facing structural problems due to the need to alleviate their standards to be inline with the global supply chain standards (Pierenkemper & Tilly, 2012). The aviation and aerospace industry are however doing very well with an increased growth rate over the last period of years.
The information technology industry is also the largest in the European region with German being the fourth among all the countries in the world. This has been so far the major contributing factor adding the growth rate in the economy of German and developments are still going on. Due to the fact that most of the industries in German are small and highly medium sized technological development over the years has been very easy to foster (Braun, 2012). These industries contribute to up to 89% of the companies located in the country. It has been very essential that the companies acquire highly skilled experts in various areas of expertise in order to deal with the production of high tech products.
The education sector of German is characterized with many of its nationals choosing to study abroad. However, those are studying locally have increased over the years by 78% form the period ending 2006 to the period ending 2010.This could be partly the reason why German has very many skilled personnel (Braun, 2012).When most of the students finish their studies they prefer to repatriate their acquired skills back home.

As a country it is evident to see that German is very rich and diverse though the proper mode of conduct is by acting formal at all times. It is also evident that Germans respect one another and regard observing protocols as a core fundamental issue regardless of whether in the formal or informal setting. Most importantly, the country also has a very strong economic background being one of the major exporters of the world. Its specialization in the automobile industry has not only led to the development of the country in regards to technology but also in development of vast infrastructure. It can also be said that it gets most of its income form export trade especially from the New Zealand and France which are its major export zones (Braun, 2012). The population of the country, though small is also very well cast with adequate knowledge and skills that have also led to the spiral development of the country therefore earning the country lots of income. This is also because most of the nationals have good standards of living as most of them are financially able and also the industrial sector has ensured that most of them are employed in the various industries in the country. These factors and many more make German a world destination. Not just in regards to tourism but also as a learning experience
Braun, J, H, (2012),The German economy in the twentieth century, New York, Rouletdge
Central intelligence agency (2013) The world fact book: Germany country profile. Retrieved from
Coy, P, J,(2011), A brief history of Germany. Newyork, Facts on file.

Kwintessential, (2013),Germany - Language, Culture, Customs and Business Etiquette ...

Paterson,W,(2011),German culture),Chicago,Biblio Bazaar.
 Pierenkemper , T, tilly, H, R (2012), The German economy during the nineteenth century,Berlin, Berghahn Books
Rogowski, C. (2010). Re-calibrating German Modernity. Germanic Review, 85(2), 162-169. Doi:10.1080/00168891003756921