Martin Zeil: The Munich Metropolitan Region within the overall concept of Bavarian state policy

The core of the Munich Metropolitan Re­­gion consists of the regional centres of Munich, Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Lands­­hut and Rosenheim, plus the sur­­round­ing counties. Its impacts, however, reach far beyond and cannot be strictly de­­lim­­ited.

With its more than 4.6 million inhabitants, the Metropolitan Region is one of the leading business regions in Europe, and it is no doubt an outstanding centre of economic power. It holds a top position with regard to demographic develop­­ment, economic strength, power of in­­no­­vation and competitiveness com­­pared to other regions in Germany and Europe.

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The special strength of this metropolitan region lies in the wide variety of future-oriented industries, a mix of global play­­ers, long-established medium-sized com­­panies and start-ups, as well as a su­­pe­­rior quality of life and attractive land­­scapes. The region is a dynamically grow­­ing and excellent centre of service pro­­vision. For instance, Munich is the place in Ger­many where most insurance com­­panies are lo­­cated.
The region is also experiencing strong development in the media sector. The greater area of Munich is home to major publishing houses and numerous large TV and film production companies. Re­­search institutions of world renown, uni­­versities and other institutions of tertiary education generate a high potential for innovation and provide appropriately qualified workforce, even beyond the great­­er Munich area. In addition, the Me­­tropolitan Region stands out for its excellent transport infrastructure. The dense motorway and road network and the highly efficient railway system are complemented by several regional airports and, not least, by the large international “Franz Josef Strauß” Airport, which offers direct flights to destinations throughout the world. As an economical­­ly flourishing region, the Munich Metro­politan Re­­gion has succeeded in po­­si­tioning itself at the forefront of com­pe­tition at European level. Its economic dynamism and performance give it a pioneering role in the Free State of Bavaria.

The Bavarian economic policy will contin­­ue to actively support the development of the Munich Metro­politan Re­­gion. We think it is important to further de­­velop the interlinks between firms and re­­search institutions In the framework of the cluster initiative. Our aim is to further improve the innovative dynamism of the Bavarian economy.
In the Munich Metropolitan Re­­gion, the following clusters are considered fit for the future: automotive, aerospace, sat­­ellite navigation, biotechnologies, me­­dia as well as information and commu­­nications technology.

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Bavarian economic policy aims to generate stimuli for the entire south of Bavaria through the dynamic de­­velopment of the Munich Metro­pol­itan Re­­gion. To achieve this, it is es­­sential to create the best pos­­sible conditions for businesses in the fu­­ture, too. To attract internation­­al companies, the Bavarian State Gov­­ernment relies on proactive location advertising. The appeal of the Munich Metropolitan Re­­gion is de­­liberately used to turn investors’ attention also to locations outside its core area. To the Bavarian State Government it is of particular im­­portance that the entire metropol­­itan region benefit from positive effects, rather than just the core areas.
The close cooperation between business and science, local authorities and chambers within the metropolitan re­­gion offers the unique opportunity to use the differences and qualities of each local area to optimize the development of the overall region by taking advantage of possible synergies.
Particularly due to the involvement of the areas surrounding the core region, the rural areas in the metropolitan re­­gion participate substantially in the de­­velopment process.

This occurs because, on the one hand, the rural areas share in the attraction and stimulating effects of the core re­­gion, and on the other, they have a sig­­nificant influence on the quality of the metropolitan region by developing their own priorities and activities. In addition, the rural areas not only benefit from the attraction and stimuli of the core re­­gion, but they are equal partners with their own right to all vital functions.

Participation and involvement of the areas surrounding the metropolitan core, in particular, are essential prerequisites for the long-term functionality and op­­timal development of a metropolitan re­­gion defined as a responsibility-sharing community. Another essential aspect of the Munich Metropolitan Re­­gion is the pioneering spirit kindled by the in­­ten­sive and voluntary cooperation of the local players. This “bottom-up” de­­velop­­ment has generated positive attitudes and lead to networking and collaboration activities across the region.

The ongoing positive development of the Munich Metropolitan Re­­gion is an essential precondition for the development of Bavaria as a whole. Besides fos­­tering internal regional development, for example in the fields of transport, tertiary education or tourism, the de­­vel­­opment of the two metropolitan regions of Munich and Nuremberg has a balanc­­ing effect on the structures of the various regions in Bavaria. On the whole, metropolitan regions play an important part for Bavaria to be able to succeed in the national and international location competition. They promote the state’s integration into German, European and global business networks and provide links with cross-national European trans­­port systems with relevant regional connections and access facilities. They are also an efficient means of enhancing Bavaria’s profile.

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The special focus of the Bavarian State Government on the metropolitan re­­gions does not mean at all that it abandons its traditional state de­­velopment policy, which has so far been guided by the prin­­ciple of “creating and maintaining equal living and working conditions in
all parts of the state”. On the contrary:
Ba­­var­ia sticks to the princi­ple of equal living and working conditions without ifs or buts – the met­­ropolitan regions and their development are clearly included in this concept. The Bavarian State Government continues to make every effort to guarantee equal opportunities for the citizens everywhere in the state.

The prospects are excellent for the Mu­­nich Metropolitan Re­­gion to continue its positive development. What matters most is to consistently follow the course it de­­cided to take and to make sure the met­­ropolitan region progresses in realiz­­ing true partnership between rural and ur­­ban areas.

MartinZeilLLThe author was born in 1956 and since 2008, he has been the Deputy Prime Min­­ister and Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology of the Free State of Bavaria. A lawyer, Martin Zeil was a member of the Ger­­man parliament, the Bundestag, be­­tween 2005 and 2008, and since 2008, he has been a member of the Bavarian state parliament. Mr Zeil is also the vice chair­­man of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Bavaria.