Alternative energy production and storage – this is the sector in which the greatest growth is to be expected in the eastern German federal states. That’s what almost every second respondent says in a representative, online Civey survey of 500 decision-makers in the private sector from Berlin and the eastern German states. More than one in five (22.9 percent) sees tourism as a future-oriented industry, and almost one in six (16.6 percent) sees mobility.

The potential is great – yet more than half (56.4 percent) of East German business decision-makers doubt that change in the East German federal states will succeed within the next ten years.

This was the result of the transformation barometer commissioned by the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative. On its basis, decision-makers from politics and business will come together from June 12th to 14th at the 7th annual East German Economic Forum (OWF) in Bad Saarow near Berlin, to debate future opportunities in the East and to develop solutions for successful structural change.

That’s what the organizer, the OWF initiative, wants. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) are also on the list of speakers.

In fact, a lot is currently happening in East Germany, from the Tesla settlement in Grünheide, Brandenburg, to the construction of an ICE maintenance workshop in Cottbus, which started in mid-May, and DHL’s mega parcel center in Ludwigsfelde, which opened yesterday, to the planned settlement of the US chip manufacturer Intel in Magdeburg. The development opportunities are good to very good, and 82 percent of those surveyed agree.

Nevertheless, the mood in East German companies is stagnating. This is also confirmed by the Ifo business climate index recently published by the Dresden Ifo Institute for the entire regional economy in eastern Germany.

According to the survey, the change is being shaped primarily by the phase-out of coal, the expansion of renewable energies and the settlement of large international companies. Only every fourth respondent sees the transformation as an opportunity, almost every second one as a risk (47.2 percent).

The shortage of skilled workers, the procurement of raw materials, high energy prices and digitization are causing problems for companies.

Well over half of those surveyed (61.2 percent) complained about the lack of political support for their own company, wished for a better digital and social infrastructure and a reduction in bureaucracy (around 62 percent). In addition, more than every second (58 percent) criticizes that there is too little exchange among themselves and with associations and politicians, which is necessary in order to shape the future together. At least the economic forum will offer an opportunity to do so.