The German economy is benefiting from more and more foreign activities by German companies. This was revealed by the “Going International 2007” survey conducted by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). As was shown in the survey, the export industry alone generated about 200,000 additional jobs since July 2006. Increasing investment abroad has created significantly more jobs within Germany.
It is still the export which dominates foreign activities by German companies: 88% of German companies which operate on foreign markets do export business. Successful German companies are ideally positioned abroad and they are to a high extent internationally orientated. In the meantime a typical medium-sized entity is operating on 16 foreign markets on average. Even small companies with an annual turnover of up to 500,000 Euros are active on seven foreign markets on average. Major companies with an annual turnover of more than 50 million Euros do business in on average 27 countries.
The tapping of new markets is the main priority in any foreign activities: 95% of interviewees mentioned this to be the chief motive. Similarly important motives derive from the competitive environment, customer requirements and customer proximity. All other motives were mentioned in about 50% of cases by companies operating abroad and are therefore less important. Expectations by most companies with regard to a e.g. better legal framework were disappointed, in particular those by retail and wholesale trade businesses.
The commitment of small and medium-sized entities varied according to what markets they attribute most growth potential to. This potential is not always supposed to be found on huge markets: the strongest dynamism over the coming 2 to 5 years is expected in countries such as Rumania, Greece, the Baltic States, Belorussia and countries in Latin America, while the situation on European markets, which are traditionally the target of German companies, do not promise such extraordinary grow potential.
About 3,600 companies operating on foreign markets took part in the above mentioned survey. The findings are available for free-of-charge download.