Wo steuern Deutschlands Exportgeschäfte hin?

— Pressemitteilung —

As much as one enjoys the outcome after the Corona restrictions, one is still concerned about the German economy.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the export ratio in 2019 was just under 47%. The import quota - at just under 41%. With Corona there was definitely a slump in both. Will exports continue to decline? How are our sales countries doing? What will it be like in a few months? Will globalization pass the acid test imposed on it by the virus? If our long-standing traditional trading partners are ailing, are there at least temporary alternatives?

The business journalists from Der Spiegel took a look at the current situation of our most important international partners.

In 2019, the USA led the way with an export volume of 118.6 billion euros. Hard hit by Corona at the moment, politicians will do everything they can to get the economy back on track before the elections in November 2020. But before the unemployed Americans find a new job, there is no way to think about selling German cars there. Moreover, the U.S. nationalization policy is an obstacle to the long-term expansion of the international partnership for capital goods.

France with 106.7 billion euros and Italy with 68.1 billion euros of imports from Germany in 2019 were hit hardest by the corona virus in Europe next to Spain. Companies in these countries lack financial reserves for investments. This is likely to continue to weigh on demand for German imports.

China was Germany's third largest customer in 2019 (96 billion euros). The manufacturing sector has recovered quickly from the corona crisis and in May 2020 is higher than in May last year. This could be a good sign for sales of German capital goods.

Our neighbor, the Netherlands, is much less affected by the corona crisis than other European countries. Although the long period of growth has been interrupted and Rotterdam is likely to lose a fifth of its cargo handling volume in 2020, this could be a good sign for sales of German capital goods. Because of the country's good credit rating and other expected emergency packages, the Dutch economy should remain a strong partner for us. Moreover, it does not depend on the sale of cars, nor does it rely heavily on tourism.

In 2019, Great Britain was the fifth most important customer for us (78.9 billion euros) and is now a topic in its own right because of the brexite and faltering trade agreements. In addition, the impact of the Corona crisis on the economy is drastic, so that British economists no longer even dare to make forecasts, because they have never experienced such a situation in their own lifetime. It is a challenge and possibly the chance for a cold brexite without political consequences for Boris Johnson. But in 2022, the economy should have the strength it had before the Corona crisis.

Well, what can be done for the German economy? As I mentioned earlier, China and the Netherlands would be worth making efforts to expand business with these countries, as they are most likely to show economic stability in the second half of 2020.

Are there other markets for the current focus? Yes. The Eastern European EU countries. Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic. The German economy is now closely intertwined with its eastern neighbors.

Quietly, Poland has made itself the number 7 in terms of imports from Germany. 65.9 billion euros in 2019, and German exports have doubled within 10 years. The driving force behind the Eastern European EU had relatively few corona infections. Although there was a slump in April due to the lockdown, experts now expect a loss of economic power of only 4.3 percent in 2020 as a whole and subsequent strong growth in 2021.

Hungary is now more important for the German economy than Denmark or Japan, emphasizes Der Spiegel. And the Czech Republic is currently more important than Russia. Nevertheless, Russia with its official environmental and infrastructure program offers great potential for some sectors.

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