Public Lecture: Political and Economic Transformation of Germany
Thursday, 14. July 2016 - 14:30
PK 2 Lecture Hall, University of Namibia, Windhoek Campus
Topic: Political and Economic Transformation of Germany: Key Drivers of the German Economy
Germany is the largest economy in the European Union (EU) and the fourth largest in the world after the USA, China, and Japan. The German economy has its great innovativeness and strong focus on exports thanks to its competitiveness and global networking. In high-selling sectors, such as car-making, mechanical and plant engineering, the chemicals industry and medical technology, exports account for far more than half of total sales. In 2014, only China and the USA exported more goods. Germany invests around 80 billion euros annually in research and development (R&D).
The positive economic momentum has led to a favourable trend on the labour market. Germany is one of the countries with the highest employment rates in the EU and is the country with the lowest youth unemployment percentage. Despite the financial and economic crisis, since 2008 the German labour market has trended ever upwards. In July 2015 42.8 million people worked in jobs that are subject to mandatory social insurance contributions. The high employment rate of over 73.5 percent is an expression of the country’s sound economic situation, despite little assistance from the global economy. Germany is one of the EU member states with the lowest unemployment. In 2014 the unemployment rate was on average 6.7 percent, and thus at its lowest level since 1991. In particular growth in segments of the services sector is impacting positively on the labour market.
What are the reasons for this relative success? The lecture will single out six aspects: social partnership, the availability of skilled labour, openness, rule of law, sustainability and regional integration.
H.E. Christian-Matthias Schlaga, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia, has been in Namibia since September 2015. Before taking up his current post, he served as German Ambassador in Tallinn, Estonia.
Ambassador Schlaga was born in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), his parents fled to West Germany in the 1950s. After completing his baccalaureate and his military service, he studied law at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, with a focus on European and International Law. This served as an excellent preparation for the service in the German Federal Foreign Office, which Ambassador Schlaga joined in 1982.
His work since joining the Foreign Office took him to posts in Harare/Zimbabwe, Washington/USA, Lisbon/Portugal, Rome/Italy, New Delhi/India and Tallinn/Estonia, with intermittent stints at the Federal Foreign Office Headquarters in Bonn and Berlin. In particular, his work has centered on Germany’s relations with other European states and questions concerning the European Union. In Namibia, his focus has been on the reconciliation and ongoing negotiations between Namibia and Germany with regards to the painful colonial past from 1904-08 and on strengthening the already excellent existing bilateral ties between the countries, especially in the area of economic cooperation.
As a keen observer of the role of Germany in Europe and the World, Ambassador Schlaga will thus speak on the topic of Political and Economic Transformation of Germany: Key Drivers of the German Economy.
Enquiries: Ms Sara Kamati, Tel.: 061 206 4680, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org