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'Thinking further ahead – addressing the structural change': this is the motto of the 2nd Eastern German Growth Day, which is being held by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of Saxony today.

Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States and Parliamentary State Secretary Marco Wanderwitz said: "Business and society are facing major challenges. Companies need to re-think the ways they combat climate change and cope with structural change. Possible solutions include digitisation, artificial intelligence and e-mobility. This applies in particular to the rural areas in the new federal states, which are characterised by small enterprises. We want to help these companies to implement the transformation."

State Minister Martin Dulig said: "The eastern federal states are still lagging behind the western federal states as is reflected by numerous economic, demographic and fiscal figures. The catch-up process has recently faltered. The current structural change related to the phase-out of coal provides an opportunity to revive the catch-up process. Coping with structural change and boosting growth can only succeed if companies work closely together with research, can make use of highly skilled workers and are open to change."

Marco Wanderwitz, Martin Dulig and Professor Dr Uwe Cantner, Chair of the Commission of Experts on Research and Innovation, will be opening the event by discussing what contribution companies can make to cope with the regional structural change in the new federal states. In the context of two workshops, entrepreneurs and representatives of regional initiatives will afterwards be exchanging views on companies' growth prospects and solutions. Due to the COVID-19 measures, the Growth Day will take place as a hybrid event.

The 2nd Eastern German Growth Day is this year’s major event in the context of ‘Enterprise: growth’. The initiative aims to promote the direct exchange of views on growth strategies between entrepreneurs in the new federal states.