AHK World Business Outlook 2019: German companies worried about global economy International trade disputes and increasing protectionism in many parts of the world are increasingly becoming a reality for the business of German companies abroad. Only 24 percent of the 4,500 companies surveyed worldwide by the AHKs see a positive development of the local economy over the next twelve months. In addition to increasing trade barriers and unresolved issues such as Brexit, companies cite the General economic policy framework as a risk to the global economy. In particular, companies in the European Union (EU) and North America are increasingly skeptical about the economic development this year. The situation is somewhat better in many developing and emerging countries. Some countries in Southeast Asia, India and some African countries are recording high growth rates and German companies expect good business there. However, these prospects are often dependent on the development of economically strong trading partners of these countries – such as China.