Businesses in Hamburg going international

Companies aiming for more diverse supply chains, Chamber of Commerce reveals in latest Hamburg Business Barometer
10 March 2023
Die Handelskammer Hamburg am Abend

Companies in Hamburg are planning fewer investments this year, but hope to position themselves more internationally and to diversify their supply chains, according to the Chamber of Commerce's economic survey for the fourth quarter of 2022. Around 33 per cent of companies operating abroad or twice as many as in 2022 said they planned to invest in North America. Businesses showed more willingness to invest in African countries and in Central and Latin America, the survey found. The survey is based on 589 responses from local companies and was conducted between December 15, 2022 and January 11, 2023.

Companies seeking alternatives to Russia and China

"Since last spring, we have noticed keener interest among companies to find alternatives to Russia and China as sales and production markets," said Philip Koch, Managing Director International at the Chamber of Commerce. The United States is attractive for companies in Hamburg due to the size of the market, its stable legal framework and low energy prices. "Central and Latin America are considered markets for renewable energies like green hydrogen in future. Yet, Africa and the Middle East are apparently benefitting from companies interested in broadening their supply chains to avoid going from dependency on one raw material to the next."

Asia-Pacific region as alternative to China

Although companies are planning to invest more in China over 2022, the country has become less attractive due possibly to its COVID-19 strategy and the repercussions of lockdowns. Tougher regulatory conditions for foreign companies are also a possible explanation, the chamber said. This trend is benefitting the Asia-Pacific region and many economies are experiencing high growth rates with young, well-educated workforces. This is leading many countries to ease the conditions for foreign investments.