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German companies are to increase their investment in the UK

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German businesses plan to increase investment in people and production in the UK, but more needs to be done to improve post-Brexit trading, say leading business and tax advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg.

Nils Schmidt-Soltau, a Partner at the firm, said: “A recent survey by the German-British Chamber of Commerce found that most UK-based German businesses view the performance of their UK operations positively or very positively with nearly half of the respondent’s expecting growth over the next 12 months.”

He added: “More than 40% of respondents plan to increase their investment in the UK, in a clear sign that business sentiment and the outlook for the UK market amongst German businesses are improving. Respondents noted that the primary reason for German companies to grow their presence in the UK is the size and attractiveness of the local market, but political uncertainty, subdued demand, and trade barriers are listed amongst the challenges that businesses are facing.”

Nils said: “Whilst we are pleased to see resurgent optimism amongst German businesses in the UK, there is clearly more the UK government will have to do to create an environment where international businesses will be confident to invest.”

He added: “More needs to be done to improve the post-Brexit trading arrangements to remove some of the barriers now in place on the movement of people and goods. Business needs clarity and simplicity and avoiding further regulatory friction between the UK and its closest trading partners will be key to enable the UK to achieve its growth agenda.”

Nils said: “Any incoming government needs to be more mindful that the United Kingdom, as a business destination for German and other international businesses, is in competition with other European markets. There needs to be a clear realisation that any further regulatory and legal divergence from EU standards will further reduce the attractiveness of the United Kingdom as a destination for EU businesses.”

He added: “While German businesses in the UK wish to expand their operations, there has been a marked reduction in small to medium sized German businesses establishing operations in the UK in recent years as the cost, both in financial terms and management time, coupled with the perceived regulatory and political uncertainty are considered too significant.”

Nils said: “Whilst for many overseas businesses the UK market remains attractive, more needs to be done to remove barriers to entry and to demonstrate that the UK is open for business with a reinvigorated focus on developing relations with its immediate neighbours.”

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