January 23, 2020 / 1:16 PM / in a month

Brexit brings jobs boost - for Germany

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold an EU flag during a rally under the slogan "Stop the Coup" to protest against attempts to force through a no-deal Brexit, in Berlin, Germany September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - About two dozen British firms told German authorities in 2019 they plan to open offices in Germany and will create 680 new jobs, more than in the previous two years combined, the government’s business marketing arm said on Thursday.

Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) linked the increase to Britain’s departure from the European Union on January 31, and said the number of planned new jobs may rise as some firms registered plans directly with Germany’s 16 federal states.

“We are witnessing a constant increase in the activity of British companies in Germany,” said GTAI chief Robert Hermann.

Some companies were moving to Germany to skirt tariffs that could be imposed on British goods and services once Britain leaves the EU while others were attracted by favorable conditions, Hermann added.

About a third were finance and business services companies, just under a third specialized in IT and some 40% were a mix that included engineering and consumer specialists.

Britain’s parliament has approved a divorce settlement with the EU, which includes a business-as-usual transition deal covering the period after Brexit Day on Jan. 31 until the end of December.

Hermann said British business leaders appear undeterred by Germany’s weakening economy, whose export-oriented manufacturing sector is in recession.

Germany is Britain’s second-biggest export market after the United States.

Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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