German business leaders hail EU's expansion

10th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 May 2006, BERLIN - German business leaders in Berlin Wednesday hailed the eastward expansion of the European Union two years ago and said they would continue to pour investment into the east.

10 May 2006

BERLIN - German business leaders in Berlin Wednesday hailed the eastward expansion of the European Union two years ago and said they would continue to pour investment into the east.

"Expansion has been a big success for Germany and for accession countries," said Ludwig Georg Braun, president of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce DIHK, during a conference in Berlin.

He predicted that "enormous" annual growth rates of 4 per cent or more would continue in the region, home to 78 million people.

Some 10,000 German companies had invested in central and eastern Europe, principally attracted by lower wage costs.

A DIHK survey of members had shown two-thirds of the firms expected their CEE operations to improve this year compared to 2005. Business leaders said the most attractive locations were Estonia, Slovakia, Latvia and Romania.

Hungary and Poland, formerly the stars of the economic revival, had fallen behind and had to act to catch up in attractiveness.

The European Union expanded from 15 to 25 members on May 1, 2004.

DPA

Subject: German news

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