Post-Brexit opportunities: ‘Whatever the future, Britain and Germany will remain pivotal partners’
- Banking & finance: working together to bolster European capital markets
- Trade: accelerating supply chain digitalisation and eliminating administrative burdens
- Climate change: powering global shift towards sustainability
- Society: creating fairer, more balanced framework for gender equality and immigration
London/Berlin, 29 March: A new focus on bilateral relations after Brexit will allow Germany and the UK to share expertise, deepen bonds and provide leadership in international forums. That is the message of an OMFIF report – ‘UK-German futures: Relations refocused’ – published today with the British embassy in Berlin, the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany and the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce.
The report describes how across 10 economic areas the two sides can extend widespread co-operation in fields ranging from manufacturing and services to education, gender balance and cybersecurity.
‘Acting together, buttressed by broader collaboration across Europe and the wider world, we can better tackle the great global challenges of the 21st century – climate change, digitalisation, aging populations, social and economic inequality,’ says the report’s foreword, from the heads of the contributing organisations.
Patricia Godfrey (German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce), David Marsh (OMFIF) and Michael Schmidt (British Chamber of Commerce in Germany), write: ‘Whatever the future, Britain and Germany will remain pivotal partners.’ They underline that the two countries face similar risks from technological change, cybercrime, geopolitical perturbation and world-wide competition. ‘This report takes our existing interlocking relationships as the starting point for a new era.’
The UK must find ways to continue promoting goods trade, for example by facilitating supply chains through blockchain technologies and streamlining bureaucratic processes such as taxation and customs procedures.
Britain is likely to remain the largest global hub for international bank lending and trading financial instruments, as well as in many fields of asset management. There are ample
opportunities in helping reinforce European banks against intense US competition and
contributing to a Europe-wide capital markets union.
Germany and the UK, both moving to a more digitalised economy, will have to address the complex challenges generated by artificial intelligence. The two countries share interests in maximising the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. They must co-operate over climate change to achieve emissions targets and other sustainable development goals and promote joint university partnerships and knowledge-sharing. Britain and Germany should enhance sustainability standards in bilateral trade, find ways of combining strengths in green finance, and build on coordination and leadership on climate issues.
Germany has a large current account surplus and high savings rate, but relatively limited federal and state pension and savings institutions. The UK’s large institutional investor base and strength in regulation makes it a useful partner for Germany. Creating a larger, more sophisticated institutional investor base in Germany will stimulate financial activity and increase returns on German savings.