It’s a get-together of a very special kind: the ambassadors conference at the
foreign office, where top level business people meet top German diplomats
from around the world. The aim: to exchange experiences. Germany is a
major exporter and needs international markets.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister:
«Every geoppolitical change that we see on the horizon, every geopolitical
change has an impact on the Geman economy, even more so than with other
economies we’re in competition with.»
German products enjoy a good reputation all around the world. The label
"Made in Germany" has long since become a brand, a quality certificate. But
is it still enough to just deliver the best quality if you want to survive in a
globalized world? That’s why one of the questions addressed at the
economics' day of the ambassadors’ conference was whether "Made in
Germany“ has a future?
Uli Mayer-Johanssen, Chief Executive Officer, MetaDesign:
«The brand still stands for quality. It represents quality, dependability, and is
certainly respected around the world. But it is coming under increasing
pressure. It’s eroding in part, and there are so many industires that exploit it.
The quality mark is more of an emotional promise, there are no clear
guidelines governing how the Made in Germany label can be used. I think that
Germany has to do something about that, and that it shows the way here.»
Challenge as opportunity – markets are developing, and in many countries the
attraction of the label lies not only in product quality.
Rolf Mafael, German Ambassador to South Korea:
«One factor that’s important today for the Made in Germany label is not just
the quality of the products, it’s the quality of political governance and the
quality of corporate culture, the social market economy, social partnership, the
democracy of the Mittelstand as a form of corporation. These are all qualities
that Korea aspires too, and so they are all products that the companies AND
the embassy are selling.»
Another aspect is getting companies to manufacture abroad. In an
international market, companies have to live their values worldwide.
Friedolin Strack, German Industry Association:
«All our companies ask themselves the question, how can they sensibly
promote issues such as social responsibility, employee welfare, pension rights
etc in their supply chains, and in the future, that will be a part of our „Made in
Germany“ brand.»
There is strong demand for German products gobally - in terms of quality,
they’re seen as being totally reliable. By also making the Made in Germany
label synonymous with the fair treatment of workers across the supply chain, it
will reinforce respect for the brand internationally.