Germany: The Powerhouse of Europe

Germany is the central location for business in Europe. It is Europe´s largest and the world's fourth-largest economy in terms of GDP. The label “Made in Germany” stands for quality and innovation. Find out more!

Key Facts

Geographical Advantage

Situated in the center of Europe, bordering nine countries and two economically important seas, Germany is in a perfect position for conducting pan-European trade.

Excellent Infrastructure

Germany has a dense and modern transportation infrastructure with several airports, harbors, and an extensive road and railway network. The port of Hamburg is the second biggest container harbor in Europe while Frankfurt Airport is one of the major international airports and an important European transportation hub. Over 40,000 km of railway tracks and far over 600,000 km of roadways allow for fast and straightforward transportation throughout the whole country.

Member of the European Union

The creation of the European Union and the Euro as a common currency allows Germany to undertake business with trading partners without any potential barriers. The Schengen Agreement ensures that goods can flow freely between the 28 member states without any internal border controls.

Research & Development

Germany is one of the innovation leaders in Europe and is in the top league of core innovators worldwide. Its strengths can be found in industries such as nanotechnology, environmental research, engineering science, and automotive construction. With 423 universities and over 330 research institutes, Germany is also an important location for research and development. The German Research Foundation, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, and the Max-Planck-Society are just a few examples of institutions working at the cutting edge of research.

Germany’s Key Industries and Future Markets

Automotive Industry

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The automotive industry is the largest industry sector in Germany. In 2014, it had a turnover of more than Euro 385 bn. of which the car parts sector had a share of around 19%. In the dominating car segment 5.6 million units were produced, three quarters of which were exported. German companies continue to invest heavily in automotive research and development to stay at the cutting edge of the industry, be it in car design, materials and parts as well as in the manufacturing process.


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Machinery and equipment is one of the pillar industries of Germany´s economy. Because of strong demand of both domestic and international manufacturers, sales did grow to around USD 212 bn. in 2014 and production was at an all-time high. Round about 75% of the industry´s turnover is created in export. German companies as leading manufacturers and traders of machinery and parts worldwide keep abreast of the competition because of high R&D expenditure and high investments.

Chemical Industry

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Germany produces a wide range of chemical and pharmaceutical products on a well-established industrial basis. The chemical industry in Germany grew at a modest pace in 2014 and reached a turnover of Euro 193 bn. with a 60% share from exports. To secure Germany´s position as one of the world´s largest exporters of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, companies constantly invest in process and equipment modernization as well as in innovation.

Electronics Industry

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The electrical & electronics sector in Germany is mainly catering to the intermediate and capital goods needs and provides innovative solutions to a broad spectrum of industrial applications. In 2014, the turnover of the industry was close to Euro 172 bn. Exports were strong with Euro 165.5 bn. but imports grew faster and came to USD 144.6 bn. The growth outlook remains strong with continued global emphasis on trends like automation, energy efficiency and mobility.

Medical Technology

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As Germany is experiencing first-hand the demographic change and the related aging of the population, medical technology plays a pivotal role for the economy. The rising health-care need home and abroad drives innovation. Latest figures for 2013 showed total revenue of the medical technology industry expanded to Euro 22.8 bn. of which Euro 15.5 bn. were export related. The exports share is trending upward with Germany as the second biggest source worldwide after the US.

Energy and Efficiency

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The change of its energy strategy away from nuclear power has accelerated the need for alternative energy supply in Germany. In terms of total installed wind power and photovoltaic capacity, Germany is in the forefront of the green energy revolution. It holds a leading position in biomass energy as well. Apart from energy production there are other topics to be addressed like efficient/smart energy management, saving measures, energy storage, each one a big business of its own.

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