Our highlights of the year

Video: Our video takes a look back at the year 2019 and examines several projects. To view the English subtitles, please click on the bubble icon below the video and select English (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

Dear readers,

The past year has shown us quite clearly what kind of major challenges we will need to surmount. Climate change, species extinction, the refuse littering our planet and global migration are only a few of the many tasks that we, as a responsible bank, are faced with.

In 2019, however, as we looked for the best solutions to these problems, we were able to set a significant example in several cases. Together with other European promotional banks, we are investing 10 billion euros in a sustainable European circular economy in order to reduce the pollution that civilization has created. In this way, we help to make sure that products are manufactured and consumed in such a way that they don’t end up in landfills at the end of their useful life cycle, but instead become raw materials for the next generation of products.

annual Review 2019

Our dossier takes a look back at the year 2019 and examines several projects.

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In the field of digitalisation, we were able this year to provide some impetus with the start-up of the Smart Cities competition. It was designed to motivate German cities and communities to invest more in the digital infrastructure and to save energy.

And we were able to strengthen our broad commitment in Africa with new reform partnerships. In this way we seek to stimulate the economies in several countries, create jobs and generate new perspectives for the population in the country they live in.

Of course, in 2019 we also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which at that time opened up a new field of activity for KfW. Up until the summer of this year, we have been able to commit to loans of EUR 219 billion in the former eastern states and Berlin for funding businesses, residential construction, and infrastructure. KfW economists recently conducted a study and found that the economic reunification of East and West Germany was even more successful than previously assumed. The gap in terms of gross value creation, work productivity and income has drastically declined over the past three decades.

You could really experience what it means to grow together on 4 August at Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt, not far from KfW’s head office in the German capital. Five thousand Berlin residents followed the call of the Young European Classics and sang jubilantly to “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. KfW has been a main sponsor of the festival from the beginning, supporting in this way the unifying power of music.

In the coming year, KfW Group will also make every effort to build bridges and solve problems; in short, to shape the future.

Your editorial team at KfW Stories

Published on KfW Stories: 10 December 2019.