Embassies A - K
Embassies L - Z
Poor Performance but an Optimistic Outlook
During 1998 Berlin recorded an economic decline of 0.3%, compared with the growth figure of 2.8% for Germany as a whole for the same year, and was thus the Land with the worst economic performance. The unemployment rate of 16% (compared with 11% for Germany) is equally unimpressive. Nevertheless, there is significant optimism that the city has passed its lowest point in economic performance. According to the Senator for Economics, Wolfgang Branoner, the main targets of economic policy are to promote:
A Blossoming Post Industrial Economy
The largest part of Berlin's gross domestic product is generated by private service sector firms (40.4% in 1998). Most of these are small and medium firms with between one and 50 people involved. Each year thousands of new firms are set up (39,000 registered in 1998) but almost as many fold each year (36,405 de-registered in 1998). In 1996 the Senate Department of Economy and Technology launched a programme based on information, advice and incentives to promote this sector. The programme particularly targets young people and those working in the technology and media sectors. It establishes a network of institutions and advice centres across the city and includes a yearly event called "Existenzgründertage" 2000, (see: www.messe.cc/gt2000/index.htm ). Regular seminars on the themes of "Existenzgründung" (business start-up), a handbook "Berliner Gründungsführer" and a new brochure called "Selbstständig! Chancen in Berlin" (Self-employed! Chances in Berlin) are also available. In addition, the Senate has two special agencies dealing with the promotion of small firms - Investorenleitstelle and Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft.
In order to promote Berlin as a desirable commercial location, as well as to promote innovation, the city has developed a number of large-scale projects and initiatives together with innovative technological business. The main ones are TSB Technologiestiftung Innovationszentrum Berlin, RITTS-Projekt Berlin, Technologie-Coaching Center, BioTOP Berlin-Brandenburg, Mobilität und Verkehr Berlin-Brandenburg, and MediaCity Adlershof. The latter, located on the premises of the former Academy of Sciences and GDR television production facility, is a technology park combining research/university departments and industry in the "new" technologies.
Regarding information and communication technologies Berlin has another location advantage: because all the telephone cables had to be renewed after reunification to make them compatible for a single city, Berlin is the best networked and digitalised city in Gemany. This fact has led to spin-off initiatives and developments that combine culture and different sectors of the economy. Some of these are geared directly towards further promotion of the city, such as "Projekt Zukunft - Der Berliner Weg in die Informationsgesellschaft" (Project Future - Berlin's way into the information society), MediaWeb Berlin, digital audio broadcasting experiments, "Stadtinformationssystem", and "CidS! - Computer in die Schulen" (Computers into schools). This sector is closely linked with another key sector - media - and as a result of the city's positive developments in this field, one of the major media firms, SAT1 has located their national HQ in Berlin. Although this does still not bring Berlin's position anywhere near that of Köln/Cologne or München/Munich (the TV and film capitals of Germany), the basis for future growth has been set.