Katherine Brucker, consul general for the American Consulate General in Leipzig
merican and international companies increasingly say they prefer a Saxony-Anhalt business location in east central Germany when setting up shop in Europe, according to three influential studies released recently.
A top executive with computer firm Dell knew that all along.
Barbara Wittmann, managing director of Dell Halle GmbH in Halle in Saxony-Anhalt, tells Site Selection that her site, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on Sept. 1, consistently ranks as the company's top-performing business location not just in Europe, but in the entire world.
"This has been quite a successful site for Dell, not only in sales and revenue margins but also in customer satisfaction scores," says Wittmann. "Our technical team scores very highly compared to other sites. We are ranked best of breed in Europe and even in the world in several areas."
With 750 employees engaged in sales, customer service and technical support, the Halle facility for Dell has grown rapidly in five years. "We had 168 employees when we opened," notes Wittmann. "Now, we would rank in the top five companies in revenue in Saxony-Anhalt."
Wittmann says Dell benefits from a highly educated, often university-trained work force that is highly flexible, mobile and willing to learn new tasks. "We hire people with a very high IQ and then we train them. Dell primarily looks at second-tier cities. We want to move into a location where we will be relatively big and have a strong influence in the community," she says. "We also seek to make a strong impact on the region. If Dell had gone to Berlin, Dell would have been one company out of many. But by locating in Halle, we are ideally located in the heart of Germany and we still have access to 1.2 million people within an 80-kilometer [50-mile] radius."
Site selection decision-makers from many nations would appear to agree.
According to the Institute for Employment Research in Germany, Saxony-Anhalt ranks second only to Berlin as Germany's top business location. The survey of 15,500 companies throughout Germany revealed that Saxony-Anhalt scored No. 1 in the quality of work force available; No. 1 in regional wage level; No. 1 in local tax burden; and No. 1 in the price of industrial or commercial land.
An Ernst & Young study published earlier this summer showed that Germany ranked as the fifth best country worldwide as a global investment location. The survey of 814 international decision-makers placed Germany behind only China, India, the U.S. and Russia. Germany received high marks for its infrastructure, qualified work force, research and development landscape, and its handling of the global economic crisis.
The Seventh AmCham Business Barometer showed that, among American companies, Germany remains the most attractive business location in Europe.
Katherine Brucker, consul general for the American Consulate General in Leipzig, tells Site Selection that one of Saxony-Anhalt's biggest location advantages is its "incredible distribution network. State capital Magdeburg is right at the intersection of the main north-south and east-west highways through Europe. It goes north-south from Berlin to Milan and it goes east-west from Hamburg to Moscow. And the Elbe River is accessible from this point as well. With the large airport and huge DHL hub at Leipzig-Halle, this is a terrific location for getting goods to other markets."
This editorial profile was published under the auspices of the Investment and Marketing Corporation of Saxony-Anhalt. For more information on investment opportunities in Saxony-Anhalt, please contact Ms. Corina Loth by phone at +49 (0) 391-568-9931, by cell phone at +49 (0) 170-6359452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. On the web go to www.invest-in-saxony-anhalt.com.