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German foreign economic policy in the age of globalisation

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Enhancing the competitiveness of German firms on foreign markets and preserving the attractiveness of Germany as a business location to foreign investors are the twin objectives of foreign economic policy (FEP) in Germany. Its scope extends far beyond conventional ?border? measures to encompass a broad range of ?domestic? policies, such as competition policy, technology policy, and the policies of regulation and subsidisation, as these policies are increasingly relevant in terms of international competition. German FEP is implemented at the national, supra-national (i.e. European) and international (i.e. WTO, OECD, G7, etc.) level under a number of constraints.1 Internationalisation of domestic economic policies also calls for FEP to be analysed in terms of international systems or institutional competition. The rivalry that occurs is between the immobile factors of production in different countries (including the legal, economic, social and political system), which vie for the only really mobile factor of production, namely capital (including technical knowledge).

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Georg Koopmann

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