While it may seem that Germany is promoting itself as an attractive investment destination, there are some issues and concerns that come up. German labor laws are perceived as highly restrictive to American counterparts, who are more accustomed to the American hire-and-fire mentality. Higher taxes, a lack of tax breaks and their views on personal and vacation time rankle with some U.S. entrepreneurs. In the U.S., the concept of “work-life balance” is not as sacred as in Germany. Americans typically have only two to three weeks off per calendar year. They are amazed by the amount of vacation days in Germany, and also notice the differences in employee rights, such as parental leave.
Furthermore, I am occasionally surprised that some entrepreneurs do not recognize Germany as a “European hub.” Potential investors might be well-informed about the German economy and the legal framework, but often fail to recognize Germany as a place from which one can access the large European market. Additional information and persuasion is sometimes needed.
On the other hand, you do not need to convince Americans about the top quality of German products. They enjoy an excellent reputation – not even the Volkswagen (VW) diesel emissions scandal of 2015 could shake the American public’s confidence in German brands. Of course, it’s important to note that the resolution offered to U.S. customers who were affected by faulty VW vehicles was substantially better than in many other countries. But the fact remains, if someone wants to buy quality products, the “Made in Germany” seal is highly sought after.