Should Europe Regulate Sovereign Wealth Funds?

Europe must accept the challenges of global competition, and transnational investments are the basis of thriving economic development at home and abroad. But EU countries must not allow themselves to become the passive economic playthings of other nations, or of big state-owned enterprises.

WIESBADEN – State-controlled investments from overseas – so-called sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) – are now the subject of intense debate. The United States and France have made their fears known. In Germany, too, the debate centers on SWFs’ political and economic significance for the country’s future.

The problem has been exacerbated by the growing wealth of a number of countries, some of them formerly run by socialist or communist regimes. China, Russia, India, and the Gulf States have integrated their wealth into the global economy, to the immense benefit of world trade.

The openness of Germany’s markets makes them especially attractive to global trade. This openness will not change, yet there are some who now call for new safety fences – in other words, for protection.