Survey by the external trade organisation JETRO: Japanese companies in Bavaria optimistic despite COVID-19

The Japanese external trade organisation JETRO has conducted a survey on the current mood among Japanese companies in Germany. Despite the negative consequences of corona, the companies surveyed remain confident for the most part – especially in Bavaria.

238 Japanese companies located in Germany participated in the JETRO survey, 52 of which were from Bavaria. In both Germany as a whole and in Bavaria, a large number of companies stated that activities in Germany would be further expanded in the next few years or at least pursued with the same intensity. There were hardly any companies who stated that they would be reducing their business activities during the course of the pandemic or even withdrawing from Bavaria or the Federal Republic of Germany.

Decline in revenue less in Bavaria than at federal level

81% of the companies stated that their revenue has decreased in this fiscal year – the rate is just 67% in Bavaria. At the same time, less support from the state was used in Bavaria. Only about 30% of the companies took advantage of support measures from the federal or state governments – mostly reduced working hours and tax deferrals. Most of the stakeholders replied that they did not meet the conditions for this form of support and/or that they were supported by their parent companies (Germany 70%; Bavaria 67%). Language problems were barely mentioned as a hurdle.

Effect on sales in this fiscal year in year-on-year comparison (source: JETRO)

Strict restrictions on passenger transport were introduced in Germany to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures helped contain the virus on the one hand but they had a major impact on many companies’ business activities on the other hand. 40% of respondents said that logistics were affected by strict border controls. Delays in the value chain or the increase in delivery costs were given as examples of negative influences.

Despite the negative effects, companies are looking positively towards the future

The survey clearly shows that the restrictions have a major impact on the turnover and profits of Japanese companies based in Germany or Bavaria. At the same time though, there is no tendency for companies to reduce their business activities in Germany. It also became clear that, despite possible language barriers, there was sufficient knowledge of the support measures and public funding provided by the Federal Government or Bavaria. The detailed results of the survey can be found here (only available in Japanese).