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Country Guide: Germany

Germany is a potent world economy, offering a highly industrialised, diverse and stable market. British businesses can benefit from long-term opportunities if they are able to provide innovative, quality products and services. Key opportunities for British exporters include food and drink, consumer goods, data and technology. Being precise, to-the-point and emphasising your experience can help British businesses succeed here.  

Key Export Opportunities:

  • Technology including AI, Cyber Security and Financial Technologies

  • Healthcare

  • Food and drink, especially vegan, free-from and non-alcoholic

  • Consumer goods, including homewares, cosmetics and DIY

Top Tips for Succeeding in Germany

Don't beat around the bush
Germans can be quite direct and express criticism openly. Don’t take offence. Instead, avoid small talk, state your points clearly and ask questions directly.

Attention to details
German business are thorough in their research and decision making and so expect detail and clarity in any business communication. Leverage this by ensuring your proposals are detailed and comprehensive, accounting for any and all eventualities, as well as compliant with relevant regulations. 

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Quality is key
The German reputation for quality is more than just a stereotype. Ensure you prepare and practice pitches to ensure their delivery is flawless. Address any issues as soon as they arise by offering solutions and or recommendations.  

Speak the language
Over 65 percent of German employees have little or no understanding of English. Moreover, most Germans prefer to do business in their native language. Even if becoming fluent in German isn’t possible for you, make an effort to learn some key business phrases, be willing to employ the services of a translator and express appreciation when your German prospects make the effort to speak English.  

Emphasise experience and expertise
Qualifications, expertise and experience are esteemed highly in German business circles. Showing interest in your contacts qualifications and experience will be well received. Likewise, demonstrating your own expertise should stand you in good stead.    

Germany at a Glance


Projected Economy 2030




Business Languages

GMT +1

Time zone


Standard VAT/ GST Rates

Trade at a Glance


Largest UK Export Market


Largest UK Import Market


Ease of Doing Business Rank (2019)


Projected Import Market 2030


Largest Outward FDI Markets


Largest Import FDI Markets


World Bank - Export of Goods and Services (% of GDP)


World Bank - Import of Goods and Services (% of GDP)

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