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Global trade partner

Germany supports the free market and is firmly integrated in the global economy.

Containerschiff
© pixabay
Insight

Partner in the EU and worldwide

Germany is particularly strong in exports. Thanks to its numerous trade agreements, the country has secure trading relationships.

Wassertank
© BASF
Global player

Germany is strongly interwoven with the global economy. Every second euro is earned by exports.

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Bremenports
©momentkonserve-Bremen
Germany as an export nation

The partner countries of the European Union are the most important target market, but the significance of the Asian states is growing.

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Hamburg
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Commitment to fair and free global trade

Alongside multilateral trade liberalisation, the European Union’s free trade agreements are a major focus.

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Largest German companies in 2019

(sales in € million); Source: F.A.Z.
Background

A modern trading nation

Germany continues to rely on its great expertise in industry whilst remaining a driver of digital progress.

Autoproduktion
© stock.adobe.com
Lead Markets and Innovative Products

The German economy centres around four strong industrial sectors. These also account for its biggest companies.

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Industrie 4.0 Roboter
© stock.adobe.com/Alexander Limbach
Industry in Germany

The overall robust industrial sector is on the right path towards realising Industry 4.0.

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Innovativer Mittelstand
© stock.adobe.com/Gorodenkoff
The power of SMEs

SMEs form the heart of the German economy, and the segment has also given rise to countless global market leaders.

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The world’s largest trading nations in 2018 
(share of world exports)

Source: BmWi
Milestones

The success story of the German economy

Important milestones on Germany’s path to becoming a global player

1955
1955
1 Million VW Käfer
© dpa
1955
On 5 August the one millionth VW Beetle leaves the assembly line in Wolfsburg. An absolute top seller, the car becomes a symbol of what went down in history as the Economic Miracle.
1969
1969
Airbus 1969
© dpa
1969
In Toulouse (France) the Airbus consortium is founded as a Franco-German joint venture. Today, Airbus S.A.S. is the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer.
1989
1989
Deutsche Bundespost
© dpa
1989
Postal Reform I marks the beginning of the privatisation of the ­giant publicly-owned corporation that is Deutsche Bundespost. The privatisation is regarded as one of the biggest reforms in German economic history.
1990
1990
Treuhandanstalt
© dpa
1990
The Treuhandanstalt, a government-owned but independent trust agency, begins transforming the socialist planned economy of the former East Germany with its several thousand state-owned enterprises into a market economy.
2002
2002
2002 Einführung Euro Währung
© dpa
2002
From 1948 until 1998 the Deutsche Mark is the official c­urrency as “book money”, until 2001 as cash. It is replaced on 1 January 2002: Germany and 11 other EU Member States ­introduce the euro.
2018
2018
Börse Anzeige
© dpa
2018
In January 2018 the German share index DAX reaches an all-time high of 13,595 points. It reflects the performance of the 30 biggest German companies with the highest sales.
2020
2020
Coronakrise Gastronomie
© iStockphoto
2020
In May 2020, the Corona pandemic meant 7.3 million employees were working reduced hours – more than ever before. The system involves a temporary reduction in working hours, whereby compensation is provided for a portion of workers’ lost earnings. The aim here is to avoid redundancies.

Gross value added by sector, 2018, in billion €

Source: BMWi