Now an Economic Superstar, German was once referred to as the “Sick man of Europe”
There is a time German was referred to as “the sick man of Europe” but all that has changed as the country becomes the economic superstar.
In fact, German is responsible for 8% of world exports. She is doing exceptionally well in this respect. The county is famous for high quality exports. Talk of Mercedes Benz, BMW etc. These are collectively called ‘the German Machines’. They are all “made in Germany.”
German’s rise to stardom in the economic field is associated with the country’s decision to move her operations to Eastern Europe where there was high skilled but affordable labor.
The Berlin Wall collapsed and opened up German to the rest of world. Germany is known for their use of robots and managing of the job loss risks thereof. The country trains incumbent workers and retains instead of replacing them and smiling all the way to the bank.
In Kenya, Tea farms introduce tea plucking machines without a second thought on how the labourers will get new jobs. A great lesson from German.
The following factors have been responsible for German’s stardom in the economic sector:
a) Low wages
b) Low production cost because German made a decision of offshoring to Eastern Europe.
If developing countries such as Kenya wants to duplicate the Germany success, we need to start by testing what works for us in our local context. This calls for increased funding for Research and Development (R&D).
In Germany they created more autonomy in the decision-making process hence freed the management team to create more time for responding to market demands.
Finally, Germans trusts each other. This is not the case elsewhere. Levels of trust are lower in some countries due to corruption and other unethical behaviors.
Chair of International Economics
University of Munich
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