Germany’s Economic Status

Some facts about Germany’s status as a world and U.S. trade partner

  • German investment in the United States exceeds $210 billion.
  • More than 3,000 German companies have investments in the American market.
  • Germany was the world’s second biggest exporter in 2009 just behind China. Technological innovation and the high quality of German goods are seen as the main reasons behind Germany’s second place finish. The most popular German export goods are vehicles and vehicle parts, machines, chemical products, and metals.
  • The World Economic Forum recently (2009) named the most competitive nations in the world; Switzerland is number 1, Germany number 7, and Austria number 17.
  • Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the world’s third most technologically powerful economy after the US and Japan.
  • Germany continues to be the U.S.’s largest European trading partner and its fifth largest global partner.
  • Germany is one of the top three nations in research and development of high tech products, and the second among world leaders in both wind and solar power production.
  • The United States imports more from Germany than from any other European country ($77.2 billion in 2004) and is the second largest market for German exports ($78 billion).
  • According to “Global Innovation Index 2008” developed by INSEAD, the French University of Economy, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, places Germany in 2nd place (USA in 1st), Switzerland in 7th, and Austria in 15th. In last year’s survey Germany was also in 2nd place.
  • Over 2000 American companies conduct business in German-speaking countries, and more than 1000 companies based in German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U. S, according to the American-German Business Club.
  • More than 45,000 international companies are doing business in Germany.
  • U.S. subsidiaries of German companies employ over 660,000 Americans according to recent figures from the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK).
  • U. S. investment in Germany in 2008 was 111 billion Euros.
  • Germany is the fourth largest exporter of agricultural goods in the world.
  •  According to a poll of 1,200 leading executives from six EU nations, Germany’s economy is the most competitive in Europe.
  • A study conducted by the economic newspaper Handelsblatt found that Germany has consistently enhanced its competitiveness more than any other country. On an international level, Germany and Switzerland are tied for second place behind China.
  • Germany is the most attractive place in Europe and third after the US and China in the world for U. S. companies to invest, according to a 2008 survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. Reasons cited were the quality and reliability of the “Made in Germany” label as well as the country’s resilience in the face of the current economic downturn.
  • About half of the 547 billion Euros of banknotes in the Euro region are spent in Germany, according to the Bundesbank.
  • Europe’s largest economy won particular praise for its state-of-the-art transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, high-tech research and development labs, well-trained workforce and large domestic market. Eighty percent of German adults have a professional qualification.
  • Germany was recently named Europe’s most favorable manufacturing location for the foreseeable future by the firm of Healy & Baker and in a recent issue of Newsweek as the second most powerful country in the world after the United States, based on many criteria, especially economic factors.
  • Germany is now in third place after the US and Finland in the World Economic Forum’s recently released rankings of countries based on microeconomic factors such as innovativeness of local companies.
  • Germany tops the list of European nations in the number of new patents registered last year, according to figures from the European Patent Office in Munich.  Germany is the third largest producers of patents in the world behind the United States and Japan.
  • Profits for Germany’s 30 leading blue-chip companies climbed by about 12 percent to hit a new record in 2007.
  • The volume of German mergers and acquisitions in the United States in 2007 was over 24 billion dollars (fourth after Canada, Britain and Australia)


Beyond economics, Germany is also recognized for the following:


  • Eighteen percent of all books published in the world are in German.
  • Germany is one of the most politically stable democracies in the world.
  • Germany was recently named number four of the top five countries of the world to live according to a 2010 Quality of Life Index published by the magazine International Living.  Ahead of Germany were France, Australia, and Switzerland. “In Germany, everything works and works well,” states the magazine article.