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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.