GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 3

C O N T E N T S
E D I T O R I A L
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T
his year we celebrate the 25th
anniversary of the fall of the
BerlinWall. Nearly a year after this
historic event, democraticWest
Germany and communist East
Germanywould begin the process of
merging into one nation.
The economy in East Germanywas
down even before theWall. Most
businesses were in bad shape and the
infrastructure was inadequate.
Around 8,500 formerly state-owned
enterprises had to be privatized by
the Treuhandanstalt, Germany’s
privatization agency.
However, the rural areas of eastern
Germany have traits that make it
unique and different from the west.
Today, with its strongmarket, prime
location in the center of Europe,
modern infrastructure, and highly-
skilled labor, the eastern part of
Germany combines the best advan-
tages of bothWesternGermany and
Eastern Europe. Parts of Eastern
Germany have become amagnet for
high-tech, highly-skilledmanufac-
turing and research.
Thus, the BerlinWall underwent a
transformation from a symbol for
suppression to an emblem of
freedom. Today, numerous German
companies located in the eastern
parts of Germany are competitive on
a global scale inmanufacturing,
services, and trade. Many invest in
the United States. Likewise, U.S.
companies have been drawn to the
attractive investment climate of
EasternGermany.
U.S. industry has also experienced
many changes over the past 25 years.
Today, experts are pointing to a
reindustrialization of the country as
awhole, as access to shale gas
reserves bring the promise of job
creation. The parallel is clear: much
like EasternGermany, cities like
Detroit now have a chance to
undergo a transformation of their
ownwith the help of international
partners and suppliers.
We should not forget that without
the support of the United States, the
reunification of East andWest
Germanywould not have been
possible. For this reason, we honor
and celebrate the 25th anniversary of
this historic event together.
Sincerely,
Dr. Thomas Zielke
President and CEO
Representative of German Industry
and Trade (RGIT)
Dr. ThomasZielke
President andCEO,
RepresentativeofGerman Industry
and Trade,Washington, D.C.
The Fall of the BerlinWall –
Celebrating the25thanniversary
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