OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría today presented the new OECD economic survey of Germany to Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. In the survey, the German Federal Government and Länder are credited with a comparatively successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic impact. The OECD highlights the performance of the German health system and commends Germany on the way it has made available additional capacities in response to the outbreak of the pandemic. The measures taken in the field of economic policy to safeguard jobs and businesses have also met with approval, as has the economic stimulus package that was launched in response to the crisis. In order to support economic recovery, the OECD recommends scaling down the fiscal measures in stages, promoting labour market inclusion and removing obstacles to investment in infrastructure.
The focus of this year’s OECD survey is on Germany’s . While praising the progress that has been made in digitalising industrial production (Industrie 4.0), for example, and in setting up a sovereign , the survey also highlights the need for a faster and broader commercial application of digital technologies. Widespread use of digital and data-based business models offers considerable potential for growth. To this end, it is important to remove obstacles to the dissemination of technology, provide targeted support to companies – in particular small, medium-sized and young enterprises – and develop digital skills in the workforce. In the international context, Germany lags behind as regards private-sector investment in knowledge-based capital and use of the most modern IT processes and services. The survey also suggests that progress on the digitalisation of the public sector (eGovernment) is too slow.
In addition, recommendations are made in the field of digital education. The OECD highlights the need to improve pupils’ mathematical ability and to impart more basic knowledge in dual vocational training. Through adequate further training services, teachers are to be supported in making greater use of digital technology in class.
welcomed the new OECD survey and said it attested to the good work of the Federal Government. The latter, he said, would consider the experts’ advice in its further development of economic policy. He added that some of the recommendations were already being implemented, including measures to promote the by creating a pro-innovation environment and setting incentives through funding. Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “Digitalisation and are the foundation of a forward-looking German economy. Therefore, the Economic Affairs Ministry actively supports innovative start-ups and new digital business models.”
Digitalisation also provides the focus for today’s Annual Conference of the OECD Global Forum on Productivity. Leading figures from government and academia are discussing the challenges faced by competition and industrial policy in the context of digital transformation and the coronavirus crisis. The aim of the debate is to explore the impact of advancing digitalisation on market concentration and the role of large online platforms, and to ask how industrial policy can respond to the challenges posed by digitalisation. The virtual event was opened by Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Ángel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General. It features contributions by renowned economists such as Philippe Aghion, Cristina Caffara, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Jason Furman, Monika Schnitzer and others.