As the Euro zone crisis deepened in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as a consequence of financial contagion, Germany’s consolidated service and manufacturing sectors kept Europe afloat. The country’s strong tradition of research and innovation is a huge factor for its favourable economic situation. The 33,000 patent applications are evidence of Germany being at the forefront of European Innovation. Although the biggest 30 corporations such as Volkswagen, BASF, Siemens and Allianz contribute significantly to Germany’s competitive advantage and innovation, there are thousands of SME’s across a diverse range of sectors, particularly from Mechanical Engineering as well as nano and biotechnology that have a substantial impact in advancing innovation and growth. Germany’s comparative advantage lies in designing and manufacturing complex high tech industrial goods that are largely used as capital goods and production technology.
The biggest sectors by far are automotive manufacturing, mechanical engineering, electrical and chemical engineering employing over 3 million people and generating revenues exceeding EURO 800 billion. Automotive manufacturing companies boast around 30% of internal spending on R&D, currently expanding expenditure on innovation in environmentally friendly vehicles, improving diesel efficiency and hybrid drives as well as the implementation of power trains. Like all other OECD countries, the service sector is the major contributor of GDP employing almost 30 million personnel in commerce, hospitality, transport, finance and corporate services. Banking and Insurance is the central pillar of the service sector and is the core supporting system of all manufacturing and development activities.
Anticipating global growth scenarios is a challenging task, however Germany has its foot set on building upon the strong foundation it has created. Industrial economies evolved into service economies and are now evolving into knowledge and network economies. The German economy is embracing all relevant megatrends to provide mobility and security as well as increasing technical efficiencies in bettering power generation as well as improving urbanised societies to be at optimal efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Sector, Energy Storage and Fuel Cell Industry, Nanotechnology as well as the Safety and Security Industries are amongst the anticipated areas indicating strong prospects for the future.