The measures implemented by Germany’s federal government to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be helping German businesses get through the crisis relatively well. A survey by HSBC shows that 53% of businesses in Germany have been strongly impacted by the pandemic, a proportion that was the lowest among the countries surveyed. Globally, 72% of respondents stated that the impact of the pandemic could be felt strongly. The HSBC study surveyed 2,600 companies in 14 countries that generated more than USD 5 million in revenue, including 200 German ones. The pandemic’s impact also appears to have increased awareness of sustainable economy, with 61% of German companies responding that the issue has become more important or even more important than ever (the global average for this response was 65%). For German businesses, the issue of energy transformation took first place on the list of priorities, followed by the fight against climate change and the promotion of sustainable consumption. A solid half of the surveyed companies are planning to investigate sustainable supply chains and infrastructure. As for investment, German businesses are placing their reliance in particular on technology and innovation over the next five years. Somewhat more than half of the survey respondents expect that flexible forms of work will become standard, with virtual meetings being more strongly promoted and air travel reduced. In the last two years, German companies have taken three measures above all to put their business on a resilient footing: 59% have relied on technological change and innovation, 42% have counted on diversifying their business and 32% want to consolidate their finances. Accordingly, nine out of ten companies responded that they were at least partially prepared for the challenges of the last few months. More than half state that they were well prepared, even if they could have done more in retrospect. Over a fifth of companies even worked “like in normal times” during the crisis, two-thirds worked with limitations and only slightly more than one-tenth stopped operations temporarily.
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