The Attractiveness of East Germany as Investment Location for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs)
The article analyses the general motives of MNEs for investment in East Germany as well as the quality of selected locational factors in East Germany from multinational affiliates’ point of view. In contrast to existing studies for East Germany the article dedicates particular attention to the role of MNEs’ heterogeneity. The research draws from the third survey of the IWH FDI-Micro database in 2009, which offers a representative sample of multinational affiliates of the East German economy. The results show a fundamental shift in the relative importance of investment motives during the transition process of East Germany. Since the mid 1990s East Germany attracts increasingly investors that target economies of scope of local technological advantage rather than low-cost advantages of local production factors as the case in the early transition period. It can be demonstrated that the investment motives depends on the country of origin, the type and timing of market entry as well as the sector of the multinational affiliate. Amongst the given locational factors affiliates value the quality of the socio-cultural context highest. This group of soft factors is followed by locational aspects related the potential for technological cooperation, the availability of labour, and finally the extent of fiscal and financial incentives. There exist significant differences in the judgment about quality of different locational aspects depending on the country of origin and the underlying investment motive. Finally the article identifies possible policy measures in the area of skilled labour, technology and investment policy in order to sustain the attractiveness of East Germany as investment location in the future.