Exporting to Germany
Strong trade partnership
Germany is the UK’s second largest export market and trading partner, accounting for more than 10% of all UK trade in 2018. During that period, total trade between the UK and Germany was worth £133 billion.
Digital industry and economy
There is demand in areas of UK strength such as big data, artificial intelligence, cyber security and the internet of things.
Strong framework for investment
Germany offers competitive tax regulations, investment incentives and a secure, highly developed political and economic framework. This is supported by excellent infrastructure, a highly qualified workforce and a legal system that protects property and individual rights.
Opportunities for exporters
The digitalisation of Germany’s industry and economy will impact all sectors and enhance opportunities associated with business models, manufacturing processes, digital marketplaces and supply chains.
Germany offers investment incentives, ranging from cash incentives for the reimbursement of direct investment costs to incentives for labour and research and development.
Germany has a very high performing SME sector, called the ‘Mittelstand’. These companies are world leaders in their fields but often need support with the challenges of digitalisation.
Drive to improve efficiency
German manufacturing companies are keen to make their factories more efficient. There are opportunities for UK companies specialising in data and technology to help improve the output of German plants.
Investment in future mobility
German automotive companies are investing heavily in 'future mobility', meeting the transport needs of the future. Volkswagen is investing €30 billion until 2023 with the aim of transforming the business from a manufacturer to a future mobility service provider. Other car makers are doing the same. They need new solutions to achieve this, presenting opportunities for UK companies.
Demand for UK skills
The biggest challenge German automotive companies are facing is the need for new software and engineering talent. The UK's reputation for high-end engineering and software skills is recognised in Germany. Automotive companies are also more open than ever to engaging in partnerships, rather than direct procurement.
Ties with the UK
The ties between the German and UK automotive industries run deep. Leading global players based in Germany have significant existing manufacturing ties to the UK, including VW, BMW, Ford, Daimler AG, Opel and Bosch. The UK automotive industry is close to home for German carmakers and respected for its business practice and innovation.
Health and life sciences
Germany offers one of Europe’s largest markets for healthcare and life sciences products, with health expenditure accounting for 11% of GDP in 2017 (German Federal Statistics Office, 2019). High market demand and Germany’s strategic location make it a preferred choice for many international healthcare and life sciences companies preparing to expand.
An increasing demand for healthcare services in Germany, combined with widespread digitisation and growing awareness of the importance of health and fitness, are paving the way for digital solutions in healthcare. Germany is also a world leader in medical technology and biotechnology, offering considerable opportunities for UK companies.
Germany presents significant opportunities in high quality pharmaceutical research, production and distribution. The country can offer unique benefits to UK companies in the pharmaceuticals sector, including direct access to internationally renowned scientists, outstanding research units, and major international markets.
Food and drink
Growth in the online market
The German food and drink industry is highly competitive, but until now has also been relatively conservative in its operating models. The introduction of new technology and digitalisation has helped to change this and resulted in the number of imports from the UK increasing.
Increasing demand for goods from other countries
The German public is becoming more open to new tastes and flavours. Food and drink imports from the UK remain concentrated at the medium to high end of the market, but interest is growing steadily, enabling the range of products to increase.
Opportunities for specialist sectors
Specialist sectors such as vegan foods are becoming increasingly popular in Germany.