Germany has long been recognised as one of the world’s economic powerhouses, and, despite the global recession, the country’s economy is still incredibly strong. Germany currently has an annual economic value of over £2 trillion, making it the largest national economy in Europe today and the fourth-largest in the world.
As a driver, innovator, and beneficiary of an ever-more globalised economy, Germany is the third largest exporter in the world and is firmly open for business with overseas companies. In 2011, Germany’s imports had a value of around £750 billion, with around 5%, or £37.5 billion’s worth, coming from the UK. Some of the country’s main imports include machinery, computers, foodstuffs and textiles.
With a wealth of potential new customers in one of the strongest economies in the world, what are the best ways to engage with prospective German buyers and why might you consider setting up a German website to help you communicate more effectively with them?
As the leading European producer of cars since the 1960s, Germany currently ranks as the fourth biggest car manufacturing nation in the world, with over five million German cars produced in 2009 alone. Other strong manufacturing sectors include construction, electronics, chemicals and machinery production.
The services sector is also one of the country’s most valuable. Accounting for around 70% of GDP in 2008, services such as banking, transport and entertainment employ a huge share of the German labour force. These services are driven partially by Germany’s excellent tourism industry – the country is currently the eighth most popular for international tourists, with over 28 million people visiting in 2011.
Key potential sectors for UK exporters to Germany include: (Source: UK Trade & Investment)
- Consumer goods
- Construction vehicles and automotive components
- Petroleum and gas
- Creative industries
Germany – the word leader in green technologies and still growing
Germany has been the world leader of green technologies for some time, but plenty of further growth is still predicted. New laws and mandates are frequently being introduced, calling for increased use of renewable energies and eco-friendly products. The country is set to double its sources of renewable energy to 30% over the next 20 years, and by 2020 it is predicted that Germany’s green technologies industry will be more valuable than its automotive sector! For green companies in the UK looking for an international presence, Germany could be the most promising market to enter.
Thriving Business Regions
Many different cities and areas within Germany have a large impact on its economy. In fact, over the last 50 years a number of German cities have become some of the wealthiest and most economically viable places in Europe. Not only does Germany have a large number of well-known cities within its borders but its overall economic outlook and work ethic has led to a fairly even distribution of industry and economy between areas. While, unsurprisingly, major cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg have thriving business sectors, so do smaller settlements such as Leipzig and Bremen. And with the nickname, ‘Mainhattan’, Frankfurt is the country’s obvious financial epicentre, playing home to both the German Federal and European Central Banks, and XETRA, one of Europe’s largest stock markets.
Government support for UK exporters to Germany
If Germany is a potential target market for your business, there is a wide range of support available to get started, including government funding to undertake research and meet potential customers. Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-trade-investment for more information.
Communicating effectively with your German customers
You will of course need to think about how to communicate effectively with your potential customers, which may mean translating technical content such as manuals and catalogues or marketing material, including websites and print material.
Consider a few facts:
- Business research shows people are four times more likely to purchase from a website that communicates in their own language
- Customers who buy online will pay more for a product if they can buy it in their own language
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.