A wide variety of economic factors are responsible for attracting German companies to the Southeast rather than just the incentives offered by individual states, according to a survey released week.

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States conducted the survey in cooperation with Arthur Andersen LLP Atlanta.

The survey consists of 90 responses to questionnaires mailed to 523 German subsidiaries, and only 11 of the respondents said that a state’s incentives were an important factor in the decision to locate here.

“We wanted to find out if the Southeast was getting better as a location for foreign investment just like everybody says,” Christian Tippelt, marketing director at the chamber, told GlobalFax in a telephone interview.

The survey concludes that the Southeast “is viewed very favorably as a business region by German subsidiaries,” and that by locating here the companies can maintain a competitive edge globally.

It cites the growth of the region, infrastructure and lower production and labor costs as factors contributing to “a positive business environment.”

According to 44% of the respondents, the primary reason for choosing to locate in the Southeast was so that they could be near their customers.  Thirty-three percent and 31% of the respondents also selected infrastructure and cost of labor, respectively.

Only 6% cited a network of district or sales representatives for locating in the Southeast. Thirty percent referred to former contacts while 3% cited the location of suppliers.

Sixty-two percent stated that the size of the workforce would increase over the course of the coming year, while only 4% foresaw a decrease.  Recruiting technical staff was considered a growing problem.

For more information, call Thomas Schmelzer, director of Arthur Andersen’s German international network, at (404) 215-7658, or send an E-mail to thomamas.schmelzer@us.arthurandersen.com