Economic Powerhouses: Love thy neighbour – The grandeur of Germany’s economy


Not far from home, Germany is riding out the current global recession with an annual economic value of £2 trillion. No surprise then that it’s the world’s 5th largest economy and 3rd largest exporter.

So here, we twitch our curtains and take a look at what our European neighbours are doing and which sectors have booming investment opportunities for UK businesses.

German car industry in top gear

Having led the way in European car production since the 1960s, Germany is now 4th in the worldwide car manufacturing rankings, with 5.8million German cars produced in 2011.

Other high performance sectors:

  • Electronics
  • Chemicals
  • Machinery production
  • Banking
  • Transport
  • Entertainment

The last three sectors employ around 73.8% (in 2011) of Germany’s workforce, which is mainly a result of the country’s booming tourist industry. Over 28 million visitors (in 2011) made it the 8th most popular destination for international tourists.

Green technologies in full bloom

Germany has been a leading force in green technologies for years and by 2020 it may be even more valuable than its car manufacturing industry. Renewable energy in Germany is set to double to 30% in the next 20 years making this sector a very promising opportunity for UK based green companies.

Where do to business in Germany

  • Berlin and Munich
    These are thriving business sectors and have become some of the wealthiest and most economically viable places in Europe.
  • Leipzig and Bremen
    Smaller, yet just as prosperous, these settlements are performing very well, which is reportedly down to the good economic outlook and strong work ethic.
  • Frankfurt
    The financial epicentre of Germany playing home to the German Federal and European Central Banks, and XETRA, one of Europe’s largest stock markets.

UK Trade & Investment predict…

The UKTI lists aerospace, healthcare, ICT and petroleum and gas as key sectors that UK exporters should be targeting.

UK exporters to Germany can get funding to undertake research and meet potential customers

There is some great support available for UK exporters keen to do business with Germany, including research funding from UK Investment and Trade (

Things to consider when communicating with potential customers in Germany:

  • Web users are 4x more likely to purchase from a website that communicates in their language
  • Customers who buy online will pay more for a product if they can buy it in their own language
  • Over 56% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price

Expansion plans are often exciting but can also be daunting, especially as effective communication plays a major role in the success of market penetration. You may need to think about translating your website and print material, marketing materials and also technical and product-related content such as manuals.

If you have any questions about how to approach communication requirements for new markets or would like information on our German translation services, please contact a member of our team on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email

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