When the Chancellor and Economics Minister go on a trip, only a small group of business leaders are allowed to go with them. Medium-sized companies are regularly left behind. They would be particularly welcome.

Olaf Scholz has discovered the exclusive mini business delegations for himself. His motto: less middle class, more prejudices. At least that is the impression you get when you take a closer look at the past trips of the red-green government representatives.

Scholz went to China in mid-April with twelve company bosses, mainly from DAX boards. Things will probably look similar for Habeck in June for his planned delegation to Asia.

While countries like France and China travel with fifty to a hundred companies to their important trading partners, a larger number of German medium-sized companies are apparently not wanted on the Chancellor’s jet. Out of several hundred applications, only a small group often makes it to the position of head of state. You often look in vain for medium-sized companies and family entrepreneurs. That is the picture of the German economy. Seriously?

Dear Mr. Scholz, is this the way you want to present our country internally and externally? Don’t we have more to offer in Germany than a handful of DAX CEOs?

Doesn’t the infamous “backbone of the German economy” consist of 99.3 percent of our strong middle class, which provides more than half of all jobs, a full 75 percent of training places and generates more than every second euro? Isn’t that reason enough to be seen and included?

A plea for the majority: Innovation or ideology: Which Germany do we want to live in?

Instead of publicly exposing itself, the federal government prefers to withhold further information about the composition of the business delegations in press releases. For example, no further insights into the exclusive circle of participants were given for either the March trip to the USA, the January trip to Argentina, Chile and Brazil or the August trip to Canada last year.

This message to our own companies, but also to other countries, is more than worrying for the future of our business location! Because we are distorting the image of our country.

Scholz is saying to our citizens and medium-sized companies: We are not interested in you! In doing so, he is exacerbating the already tense situation. By focusing on large companies, it sends a false image of our economic structure to the outside world, prevents potential partnerships and limits our innovative strength.

Especially in times of economic stagnation, insecurity among the population, multiple crises and the bad headlines about Germany, isn’t it important to present oneself as united, diversified, large and, above all, positively towards other countries? To show what we have to offer, what strength we have and how important exchange and joint action with other countries is?

I am convinced that we can take this task into our own hands if the Chancellor does not see this problem. This is precisely why I have personally organized many delegation trips with well-known medium-sized companies and corporate leaders over the past two years. Because it is important to me that we are loud and visible despite the political ignorance in our country.

If our trips to Israel, Albania, Kosovo, Vietnam and most recently to Qatar and Saudi Arabia have shown me one thing, it is that we as German entrepreneurs are warmly welcomed!

With often over 50 entrepreneurs per trip, we were able to get to know high-ranking politicians, aspiring start-ups and family businesses. We gained an insight into political upheavals, future trade policy, innovation projects and existing successful partnerships.

My belief is that we always have to form our own opinion about countries and cultures instead of leaving it to others to form our opinions. Many of these countries are biased by the media. Some of these prejudices are partly right, but some of them are outdated or overshadow the impressive developments in other areas.

Our last trip to the Arabian Peninsula particularly strengthened me. Contrary to the often negative German reporting, we experienced a different picture on site. Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a massive transformation. With its Vision 2030, the country has a clear strategy and an impressive goal in mind.

Sarna Röser is an entrepreneur, supervisory board member, advisory board member and former federal chairwoman of the business association “The Young Entrepreneurs”. In July 2020, she was elected as the youngest member of the Supervisory Board of Fielmann AG. She has also been one of the youngest advisory board members of Deutsche Bank AG since 2020, and has been an advisory board member of the new Coding School 42 of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation (LIDL/Kaufland) since 2021.

Sarna Röser is known to a wide television audience, among other things, through her participation as a guest lioness in the 11th season of the VOX program “The Lions’ Den”. The business magazine Capital lists her as one of the top 40 out of 40 talents in German business and the Handelsblatt lists her as one of the 100 women who are advancing Germany.

You think big and outside the box. They want world class. Their giga projects are inspiring, exciting and exude a spirit of optimism. Projects like the Red Sea Project for tourism or the Neom desert settlement are not just a dream, they are currently being implemented. I saw it myself on site and can form my own opinion. That is my claim.

For me it is clear: we can learn from business delegations and we need more of them. We must use the global economic potential and work together to find solutions to the challenges of our time.

Instead of getting hung up on prejudices, pointing the German moral finger at others, or being amused when something doesn’t go well, we should set an example here and there for our economic development. I advise the Chancellor and his colleagues to finally recognize this and include us as medium-sized companies more in the political and economic exchange.