Market Entry in Germany

>> Industry Structure

Most of the business in Germany is done by small and medium-sized companies (SME’s – called Mittelstand in Germany). In the past, much business was done locally, and relationships with their customers were very close.

A Mittelstand company is typically employing between 10 and 500 employees with an annual turnover of €50 million or less. It is estimated that there are about 3.7 million Mittelstand companies in Germany, producing anywhere from 35 to 45 percent of the gross national product.

Mittelstand companies tend to be concentrated in industry, manufacturing, commerce, skilled trades, professions, and service industries such as technology, construction, transport, retailing and the hotel and restaurant business.

Germany’s manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry consists of more than 200,000 businesses and provides employment for over 7.2 million people. The German industrial sector provides as many jobs as the corresponding sector in France, Italy and the Netherlands combined.

Germany has 44,300 industrial enterprises with a combined total of nearly 6.1 million employees.

The manufacturing industry in Germany generates half of its revenues through exports. The highest export revenues result from automobile manufacturing.

Other main industries

Medicine and health care

The German medical device market is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world. It was valued at $26 billion in 2014 and continues to grow.

Some of the best-known medical device manufacturers are based in Germany. Germany is an attractive market due to its consistent growth and sophisticated approach to healthcare.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is Germany’s third-largest industrial sector in terms of revenues. It produces a wide range of products, including fine chemicals, speciality chemicals, petrochemicals, inorganic chemicals, synthetic materials, agrochemicals and fertilisers, laundry and cleaning agents, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paints and adhesives.

Financial services

Germany plays an important role in Europe as a financial location. It’s one of the reasons why the European Central Bank is based in Frankfurt am Main.

Transport and logistics

Germany is the continent’s largest economy and Europe’s No.1 logistics hub. The Frankfurt Airport is the largest Airport on the continent and a major hub for international travel and air cargo.

Technology and innovation

Germany is a world leader in innovation, boasting leading universities and research institutes alongside major engineering, IT and manufacturing industries

Energy and environment

The energy and environmental technology industry has been influenced by the political goal of ensuring that by 2050, 80 percent of the electricity produced in the German market will be generated from renewable energy.

Latest version updated 6th December 2017

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