Germany - “highly recommended”
6. August 2012
At this year’s Hannover Messe, “Germany – Land of Ideas” and the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) asked German and foreign visitors questions relating to Germany’s image as a business location – with remarkable results.
“Cars, beer and Currywurst!” – spontaneous associations and clichés about Germany are familiar enough, but what do people from other countries really have to say about Germany? And what do Germans these days think when asked about their home country? Does their self-image match the image others have of them? To gain insight on the current images people have of Germany, the place branding initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” and the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) conducted a survey at the Hannover Messe. German and international visitors to the trade fair were interviewed from 23 April to 27 April 2012.
“To provide a current assessment of Germany as a location for business and investment, the image Germany has of itself and the image others have of it are important factors. Especially when making financial decisions, these could be important indicators in the location analysis process. As the world’s largest industrial trade fair with visitors from every continent, the Hannover Messe is an ideal place to survey Germany’s current image at home and abroad,” says Dr. Michael Hüther, director and member of the executive committee of IW Cologne and member of the board of Deutschland – Land der Ideen e.V.
Unbeatable: German quality of life
“Germany – highly recommended to live and work”: Good 76 percent of foreign visitors and 80 percent of Germans interviewed would recommend living and working in Germany to an acquaintance. “Lebensqualität”, the quality of life in Germany achieved the highest agreement rate by domestic and foreign visitors alike.
What would a survey on a country’s image be without the clichés? These can be quite positive, though. This is shown by the high agreement rate between the Germans’ self-image and their image abroad when rating “traditional German virtues”. The interviewees – both German and foreign – assign Germans a high level of “thoroughness”. An equally high level of agreement was attained when rating German dependability and diligence. In a few cases, self-image and the image others have diverged greatly: foreign visitors regard Germans as more tolerant, hospitable, friendly and optimistic than the Germans themselves do.