On 29th August, the German Federal Economics Minister Altmaier presented the cornerstones of his strategy for SMEs, “Valuing – Strengthening – Easing the Load”. With these key parameters, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) wants to set the tone for an economic policy that promotes small and medium-sized enterprises within the context of Germany’s distinctive economic structure, comprised of a strong SME sector and characterized by demographic change. On this topic, Oliver J. Süme, eco Chair of the Board states: “Germany’s small to medium-size industry structure acts as a societal backbone and is a central factor for employment and prosperity. It therefore also has to be brought into the equation in the structuring of economic policy. With its key parameters, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has now delivered a good initial impetus for this. Digitalization in particular must not be under-estimated, as it will become the most important economic factor for small and medium-sized businesses in the future.”
The featured cornerstones provide the first important aspects for the advancing digitalization of the German economy: “Proposals from which small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit are presented for cloud computing and artificial intelligence. It has also been recognized that high energy costs are impacting on Germany’s competitiveness. We warmly welcome this standpoint.” However, in the SME strategy, it remains unclear as to how the expansion of broadband towards a sustainable Gigabit Society can be driven forward. And ultimately, these digital infrastructures are fundamental to the success of digital technologies and the future of SMEs.