Michael Kliebenstein: Lower Bavaria has become a success story with bright prospects

Around the world, the location of Bavaria is primarily associated with the state capital of Munich and the BMW brand or is stereotypically identified by the major event, Oktoberfest. People deliberately overlook the fact that Bavaria is not only bigger but that BMW’s largest factory is located in Lower Bavaria and not in Munich.

Comparisons within Bavaria already show that Lower Bavaria enjoys prosperity and has the lowest rate of unemployment in the German success state of Bavaria. Although Lower Bavaria is largely characterised by its agriculture, the success speaks for the region. We share the Hallertau, the largest hop-growing region worldwide. The largest car manufacturing facility of the global brand BMW is also situated in the region. With 18,500 employees, BMW is the largest employer in Dingolfing where around 342,000 luxury cars roll off the production line every year.

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In addition to the automotive sector, the engineering, electronics, services and tourism industries are amongst Lower Bavaria’s “big five”, which represent the cornerstones of a well-functioning economic driving force and in turn the prosperity in the former agricultural region. 76,000 companies and 21,000 craft enterprises and the scientific foundation represent the innovative capability of 1.2 million people within the surrounding economic area with its centres Passau, Landshut and Deggendorf. Despite the fact that around 361,000 work in the service sector today, it is industry that ensures the high degree of added value and sustainability. Therefore, it is particularly the engineering and electrotechnical industries, along with the automotive

sector, which have made the successful transition from mass production, which is suscep­­tible to competition, to niche pro­­duction. Due to this specialisation, they have made themselves less vulnerable to international competitors. To ensure that this driving force will continue to progress smoothly in the future, Lower Bavaria focuses specifically on boosting its potential.

This includes the undiminished potential of tourism which, to a certain extent, goes hand in hand with the health sector. For instance, Johannesbad, with its spec­­tacular thermal spa setting in Bad Füssing, is Europe’s most successful rehabilitation centre for treating musculoskeletal disorders. The Bavarian Forest National Park remains a unique asset for both the destination and the economic location of Lower Bavaria.

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The strategy for increasing the economic opportunities:

– Supporting R&D and
– Promoting networking through cooperation and the formation of clusters.

Although large companies such as BMW and ZF are responsible for the high number of patent applications, a large proportion of innovative ideas come from flexible small and medium-sized enterprises. To promote these approaches to innovation, Lower Bavaria’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry places specific emphasis on the cooperation between companies and scientific institutions, such as the University of Passau. Support programmes help to implement new ideas and cooperation contributes to easing the load as part of risk man­­agement. One key advantage for Lower Bavaria, whether it concerns development, production or sales, is the fact that it is in close proximity to the metropolitan area of Munich as well as to its neighbouring countries Czech Republic and Austria.

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As a matter of fact, the northeast region of Lower Bavaria has plenty to offer. Using the motto “Niederbayern schafft Zu­kunft” (Lower Bavaria creates future), the Nied­er­bayern-Forum (Lower Bavarian Forum) has set itself the goal of emphasising the region’s advantages and strengths, repositioning Lower Bavaria and its cross-bor­der activities as a European success story and com­­municating this more strongly to the general public.

The Lower Bavarian Forum has now been running for three years. At the same time, our marketing and network platform is doing remarkably well and brings together new ideas for increasing the appeal of the Lower Bavarian region as a successful economic location as well as an attractive area to live, all in close cooperation with our partners. We now have 145 members – all important stakeholders of Lower Bavaria are represented: the government, district, chambers, universities, all towns, rural districts and municipalities, businessmen and women, Lower Bavaria’s ambassadors, artists, sportsmen and many others.

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Lower Bavaria has long freed itself from its image as a rural province and has morphed into a success story. Examples of this enormous transformation can be seen everywhere. Today, Lower Bavaria, within the attractive quadrangle of the cities of Munich, Salzburg, Linz and Regensburg, and near the Munich Airport, is a real hidden champion among the European economic regions and is also a hot spot for technology and the economy – a region that some people were not really aware of before. We can, with considerable self-confidence, point to the region’s unbeatable advantages: high technology and educational competence, strong economic growth and almost full employment all have a positive impact on Lower Bavaria’s image. The combination of affordable living costs, outstanding universities and technological campuses has now made us an interesting choice for qualified specialists and managers from other regions in Germany. So it is great that we can also offer a very high standard of living for families thanks to our beautiful landscape and intact natural environment, which increases the incentive for many highly specialised professionals from the North to relocate and reside in Lower Bavaria.

 

kliebenstein-presse-info-kopierenThe author was born in Cologne in 1960. He studied New Media in London and has been a freelance media consultant and a marketing manager since 1986, also for the brand of Lower Bavaria since 2008. Kliebenstein has been CEO of the new Niederbayern Forum e.V., Regionalagentur für Markenkommunikation.