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Chapter 8: Leading Sectors for U.S. Export and Investment

Advanced Materials and Chemicals


USD million




2016 est.

Industrial Chemicals (Germany)




Plastic Materials Processing (Germany)




(Europe, Germany is major supplier)




Advanced materials are the basis for new products and are vital for innovation in fields such as: Aerospace; automotive; construction; life sciences; electronics; and energy. U.S. manufacturers of innovative materials, mostly SMEs, have best prospects in the German market. As a country with a strong scientific and research portfolio, Germany offers a variety of business opportunities ranging from research to OEM partnerships to the traditional distributor. CS Germany can help find such partners, assist in identifying clusters, inform about funding; or in locating the right partner to jointly develop niche markets.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Industrial Chemicals (ICH): In 2015, the German chemicals industry achieved annual sales of EUR 188.7 billion (USD 208 billion). The industry expects a short-time slowdown in 2016 because of weakened demand from China and Russia. German imports of U.S. chemical substances in 2015 are estimated at EUR 12.64 billion (USD 14.02 billion) over EUR 11.02 billion in 2014. The strong increase of chemical imports from the United States corresponds to a grow rate of nearly 15% over the previous year. This is particularly significant since product pricing as well as annual sales of the chemical industry within Germany have stagnated over the same period triggered by the weak oil price.

Plastics Materials (PMR): In 2015, the German plastics processing industry achieved annual sales of EUR 59.8 billion (USD 66,848 billion), an increase of 1.3% over the previous year. Two thirds of Europe’s plastics demand is concentrated in five countries led by Germany. Germany imported approximately 0.2 million tons of plastics from the United States. Specialty or high performance materials from U.S. manufacturers have best prospects in Germany. Shale gas is expected to further increase U.S. plastics exports.

Composites (CPS): The EU as a composite market is very significant for U.S. firms. Europe contributes approximately 25% of the worldwide composite market in value and around 17% in volume (about the same as North America). Germany is the largest composites market in Europe. In 2015, the German composites market grew by 6%. In view of the increasing importance of lightweight materials across industries like aerospace; automotive; construction; transportation or, industrial supply, this positive trend is expected to continue over the next few years. U.S. manufacturers with their high-quality composites products have best market chances.

High performance ceramics (CRM): Key material for several industries including energy storage; chip production (miniaturization); automotive; solar; wind (and other) turbines; aerospace (e.g. space vehicles; optics; superconductors). Germany is Europe’s leading market.

Web Resources

Trade Fairs


European Coatings Show:



K’ Show:



Composites Europe:




Chemical Industry Association:

PlasticsEurope: (Association of European Plastics Manufacturers)

Composites Germany:

EUCIA: (European Composites Industry Association)

German Ceramic Society:

Commercial Service Contact:


Overview USD million




2016 (estimated)

Total Market Size




Total Local Production




Total Exports




Total Imports




Imports from the U.S.




In 2015, U.S. aerospace exports to Germany amounted to USD 6.71 billion. Civilian aircraft, engines, and parts USD 6.55 billion; parts of balloons, aircraft, spacecraft USD 143 million; aircraft launch gear USD 8.9 million. The trade surplus was USD 2.24 billion, almost 800 million less than in 2014 but still the fourteenth-largest. There is a notable difference, however, between the Census data (USD 6.71 billion or EUR 6.04 billion in 2015) and the European customs data in the last row of the table above (EUR 2.5 billion or USD 2.8 billion in 2015). This might be due to including U.S.-made aerospace parts that arrived in Germany as part of larger foreign-made assemblies (e.g., from the UK) in the U.S. stats.

Germany has the third-largest aerospace market in Europe, with 2015 revenues of USD 38.5 billion, following France with USD 65.7 billion and the UK with USD 48.1 billion (civil aviation only). Sub-sector market sizes according to the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) break down as follows: civil aviation USD 28.07 billion or 73%; military aviation USD 7.54 billion or 20%; space USD 2.77 billion or 7%. Overall, the German aerospace market grew by 8%, from EUR 32.1 or USD 42.6 billion in 2014 to EUR 34.7 or USD 38.5 billion in 2015. The lower dollar figure in 2015 is a result of a decreasing Euro value.

Aerospace is a German Government priority. The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) lists aerospace as a key industry with high growth rates and a strong industrial core in Germany.

Germany hosts the world’s third-largest trade show for aerospace & defense (ILA Berlin Air Show), the world’s largest trade show for aircraft cabin interiors (Aircraft Interiors Expo / AIX) and Europe’s largest trade show for general aviation (AERO), making it an ideal platform for U.S. companies to meet with their global partners and buyers.

Web Resources

Trade Fairs

AIRTEC, October 25-27, 2016, Munich
Aviation Forum, December 6-7, 2016 Hamburg
Aircraft Interiors Expo, April 4-6, 2017, Hamburg
AERO, April 5-8, 2017, Friedrichshafen


German Aerospace Industries Association BDLI –
ALROUND – Association connecting aerospace-oriented SMEs
German Airport Technology & Equipment GATE –

Government Entities

Federal Office of Equipment, Information Technology & In-Service Support (BAAINBw)


Flugrevue / Flight Review, Motor Presse Stuttgart

Commercial Service Contact:

Agricultural Machinery

USD million




2016 (estimated)

1 Total turnover (ag machinery & tractors)




2 Total local turnover (ag machinery & tractors)




3 Total Exports (ag machinery & tractors)




4 Total Imports




5 Imports from the U.S.




Market volume (1+4-3)




Exchange rate 2015: 1 EUR=1.1095 USD


Germany and the United States are the world’s #1 and #2 exporters as well as the # 1 (United States) and # 3 (Germany) importers of agricultural machinery and tractors. However, agricultural machinery manufacturers in both countries continue to face difficult times.

Worldwide exports of U.S.-made agricultural equipment dropped 13.5 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year (USD7.4 billion).

U.S. agricultural equipment exports to Germany amounted to USD255 million in 2015. Germany ranks now fifth as a destination for U.S. farm equipment exports (sixth in 2014) after Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China.

The agricultural machinery industry in Germany saw a further decrease in 2015 because of the weakness traditional markets such as the United States. Sales of German manufacturers reached USD 8.17 billion in 2015, another 4% decrease compared with 2014. The industry‘s 31,800 employees produced more than 28 % of agricultural machinery and equipment components manufactured in Europe.

With almost 2,900 exhibitors and 451,000 visitors, Agritechnica is the world’s largest trade show for agricultural machinery and equipment. EuroTier, in even years, is the world’s largest trade show for animal husbandry. The two shows combine to form an ideal platform for U.S. companies to meet with their global partners and buyers. Agritechnica in particular has proven to be a show where U.S. exhibitors have successfully found buyers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Web Resources

VDMA Press release

VDMA Agricultural Machinery Economic Report 2015 - PDF available on demand

AEM Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Trade Fair:

Agritechnica, November 12–18, 2017, every two years, Hanover -


VDMA German Engineering Association: Agricultural Machinery

DLG German Agricultural Society

Government Entities:

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Commercial Service Contact:



USD million

German Automotive Industry



Change in %

Total Revenues by German Industry

(in USD million)




Domestic Sales (excl. VAT)




Foreign Sales




Employees (Ø/year)




* %-change based on original EUR values – inaccuracy due to exchange-rate fluctuations

The automotive industry in Germany is the nation’s largest industry sector and Europe’s number one automotive market (Sales 2015: USD 448.2 million, 5.7 million vehicles). Germany is home to 41 automobile assembly and engine production plants with a capacity of over one third of total automobile production in Europe. German manufacturers are continuously expanding their foreign production capacity. In 2015, German automotive manufacturers produced more than 15 million cars, over 9.4 million of which were manufactured at sites outside Germany. Today, one in every five cars worldwide carries a German brand and 21 of the world’s top 100 automotive suppliers are German companies.


In 2015, German OEMs generated in total close to USD 255 billion in foreign sales and manufactured 810,000 vehicles in the United States alone. Opportunities exist for innovative U.S. OE-suppliers, especially due to the importance of the U.S. market for German OEMs.

Strategic partnerships between OEMs and suppliers will grow in importance, opening opportunities for new and innovative suppliers of promising technologies, applications and business models, including innovative lighting, technologies to enhance fuel economy & reduce emissions, alternative drive technologies, advanced safety & driver assistance systems, intelligent & connected-/automated driving (V2X, ITS), enhanced user-experience (infotainment & HMI), new- and light-weight materials, integrated and innovative mobility services and business models (Mobility-as-a-Service).

Aftermarket opportunities are limited to innovative products, e.g. telematics, infotainment, connectivity, and safety products as long as they comply with relevant technical (safety) and environmental standards and regulations.

Web Resources

U.S. Commercial Service Automotive & Ground Transportation team on

International Trade Administration
2016 Top Markets Report – Automotive Parts on

Upcoming Leading German Automotive Trade Events:
Zulieferer Innovativ 2016
in Munich (July 4-5, 2016)

Automechanika Frankfurt (September 13-17, 2016)
IAA Commercial Vehicle Show
in Hannover (September 22-29, 2016)
International Suppliers Fair (IZB)
Wolfsburg (October 14-16, 2016)

eCarTec Munich 2016 (October 18-20, 2016)

International Motor Show Cars (IAA) in Frankfurt (September, 2017)

European Automobile Manufacturers' Association

German Garage Equipment Association (ASA)
German Association of Independent Automotive Aftermarket Distributors
German Association of the Automotive Industry
German Federation for Motor Trades and Repair
German Federation of Body and Automotive Engineering

Government Entities:
Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Federal Motor Transport Authority

VDA: Annual Report 2015:
GTAI Industry Report:
ZDAK – Facts & Figures 2014/15 (in German)


Overview USD million




2016 (estimated)

Total Turnover




R&D expenditure




Exchange Rate 2015: 1 EUR = 1.1095 USD

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Main areas of activity of biotech companies in Germany

Share of biotech market

Health/medicine (incl. animal health)


Companies active outside/beyond any specific biotech field


Industrial biotechnology






Biotechnology (“Biotech”) consists of 5 main segments: bioinformatics, blue biotech for marine and aquatic applications, green for agricultural processes, red for medical processes and white for industrial applications. The United States is the world leader in all.


In 2013, the U.S. biotech industry (2,349 public and private orgs) accounted for USD 71.9 billion; Europe (2,083 orgs), USD 21 billion. Germany is the largest European market (726 biotech companies in 2015, USD 3.6 billion). U.S. firms recorded a 10% increase from 2012 and in the U.S. market, capitalization grew 65% to USD 791.8 billion (similar trend in Europe). R&D spending rebounded in 2013: biotech companies in North America and Europe raised USD 31.6 billion, a sharp annual increase from USD 28.7 billion and the second highest total since 2003.

In Germany, R&D spending increased to USD 1.04 billion in 2015, which is due to the significantly greater intention of companies to make investments in personnel and R&D. For 2016, the German biotechnology sector also expects a further growth of both income and R&D.

Germany’s biotech clusters (aka “BioRegions”) are Europe’s leading research and development hubs, and important partners for industry/academic R&D and technology transfer. Biotech is strong in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Some of the largest and most reputed clusters are in the Rhine-Neckar Triangle (Heidelberg), Cologne/Dusseldorf, Berlin/Brandenburg and Munich.

Biotech is a priority for EU and German Governments and is central to Germany’s economic and innovation policy. Biotech action plans focus on diagnostics, therapy and preventive medicine in (bio) medical research and care; and research-based medical technologies in specialized clusters. Germany’s participation (exhibition and partnering) in the world’s leading annual biotech event BIO in the U.S. is of great importance to both sides.

Web Resources

Trade Fairs

Bio Deutschland:
Association of German Biotechnology Companies, VBU:

Government Entities

Federal Ministry of Education and Research:

Federal Ministry of Health:
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy:

European Biotechnology:






Commercial Service Contact:

Computer Software

USD million




2016 (estimated)

2017 (estimated)

Market Size in EUR billion





Market Size in USD billion





Exchange Rate

EUR 1: USD 1.385

EUR 1: USD 1.1095

EUR 1: USD 1.1100

EUR 1: USD 1.1100

(Source:, March 2016)

Germany is the largest software market in Europe, capturing about ¼ of the entire European market (the UK and France are a distant 2nd and 3rd).

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the strongest U.S. export sectors in Germany. Unfortunately, there is no statistical data for U.S. software sales in German, but analysts estimate that approximately 75% of software products sold in Germany are supplied by U.S. companies. Many U.S. companies have subsidiaries in Germany/Europe.

Germany hosts some of the world’s largest ICT trade shows, making Germany a premier marketplace for U.S. companies to reach their global partners and buyers.

ICT in general is a German government priority. In August 2014, the Federal Cabinet approved the “Digital Agenda 2014-2017,” which is central to Germany’s economic and innovation policy. It focusses on the development of digital infrastructure, digital economy, digital workplaces, innovative public administration, digital environments in society, education, research, science, culture and media, cyber security, protection and confidence for society and business, and European and international dimension of the Digital Agenda.

In July 2015, the German government’s new IT Security Act (ITSG) came into effect, with the goal of increasing protection against IT security risks. The law primarily affects companies operating “critical infrastructure” (equipment, plants or parts thereof which are of great importance for the functioning of the community) in the following sectors: energy, information technology, telecommunications, transport and traffic, health, water, food, finance, and insurance. An extra demand for goods and services in the IT sector has resulted, in order to comply with the new requirements.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

IT Security Software


Big Data Analytics


Web Resources

Trade Fairs


Hannover Fair – IOT & Infrastructure 4.0
it-sa: IT Security Trade Show
conhIT, Healthcare IT
IT&Business – IT, CRM and DMS

BITKOM - Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media
BITMI – Federal Association of Small to medium-sized IT companies
Teletrust – IT Security Association Germany
ECO – Association of the German Internet Industry
NIFIS – National Initiative for Information and Internet Security

Cyber Sicherheitsrat Deutschland eV – Cyber Security Council Germany

Government Entities
BSI – Federal Office for Information Security (English).
BMWI – Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy



Computer Reseller News

Channel Partner

Heise Online – IT news

Commercial Service Contact:
Doris Groot --

Dental Equipment

USD million




2016 (estimated)

2017 (estimated)

Total Market Size





Total Exports





The Dental Equipment (DNT) industry is expected to continue benefitting from favorable demographic trends; improvements in technology and mounting awareness of the importance of oral hygiene. The United States is a technology leader and is competing with Germany in large markets such as China and India. Both the U.S. and Germany have branded for top quality products and innovative technologies and have strong trade ties. Strategically, this is a sector where both the U.S. and Germany claim to be market leaders and the biennial IDS show in Cologne is the stage for the two countries to play muscle, as well as forge further ties in R&D and trade, in view of increasing Chinese competition.

U.S. exports to Germany amounted to USD 107 million for dental equipment & supplies, and USD 46.5 million for dental laboratory products in 2015. Over 200 U.S. companies are actively exporting, with heavyweights Henry Schein, Danaher Corp. and Dentsply having major market share.

Germany is Europe’s largest market for dental equipment. The 200 members of the German Dental Manufacturers Association reported annual sales of USD 6.3 billion in 2015, up 2.9% over previous-year levels. 62% was generated by exports, up 11% over previous-year levels. The major U.S. dental technology supplier Henry Schein has a subsidiary in Germany and is one of the largest distributors with annual sales of more than USD 120 million and an estimated 10% market share. Many U.S. dental technology exporters consider the German market the “test lab” for Europe and make it the first stop for European rollout.

Germany hosts the world’s largest dental trade show, biennial IDS (3/2017, Cologne), with 200 U.S. exhibitors in two USA Pavilions and independent exhibits. The number has remained solid over the past ten years with roughly 15-20% newcomers at every show.


Many already observed trends will have a positive impact on developing dental markets. This is also true for the entire health sector in an expanding global health market. Promising opportunities and growth generators include:

Ageing societies in almost all countries worldwide;

The growing interest in aesthetic dentistry;

Medical-technical progress increases the longevity of your own teeth;

Prophylactic awareness of patients and professional prophylaxis treatment contribute to tooth longevity;

The risk of periodontal disease increases with age including tooth, gingival, and mouth disease;

Steadily rising standard of living in emerging countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Web Resources

Trade Fairs



VDDI (Association of German Dental Manufacturers)
DGZMK (German Society of Dental, Oral & Craniomandibular Sciences)

FVDZ (Free Association of German Dentists)

PZVD (Union of Privately Working Dentists)

BNZ (German Society of Naturopathic Working Dentists)

DGKFO (German Association of Orthodontists)

KZBV (National Organization of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians)

Government Entities

BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

BMG (Federal Ministry of Health)

BMWI (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)



dental dialogue


DZW Die Zahnarzt Woche

Commercial Service Contact:

Information and Communication Technology

Overview USD million




2016 (estimated)

Market Size












Total Market Size







2016 (estimated)





Consumer Electronics




IT Hardware




Telecommunications Devices




Telecommunications Infrastructure




Germany has one of the largest ICT markets in the world and U.S. suppliers are key market players in all segments. Here are the subsector market sizes in billion USD in 2015 according to BITKOM: IT-Hardware 22.8, Software 20.2, IT-Services 41.27, Consumer Electronics 9.9, Telecommunication devices 9.5 and telecommunication infrastructure 6.5.

ICT is a German Government priority. In August 2014, the Federal Cabinet approved the “Digital Agenda 2014-2017”, which is central to Germany’s economic and innovation policy. It will concentrates its actions on digital infrastructure, digital economy, digital workplaces, innovative public administration, digital environments in society, education, research, science, culture and media, security, protection and confidence for society and business, and European and international dimension of the Digital Agenda.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the strongest U.S. export sectors in Germany although many products are being manufactured in Asia. “Computer & Electronic Products” was the third largest U.S. export sector with USD 7.1 billion of exports to Germany in 2015 (third after Transportation Equipment and Chemicals); according to the U.S. Census.

Germany hosts some of the world’s largest ICT trade shows, making Germany a premier marketplace for U.S. companies to reach their global partners and buyers.

Web Resources

Trade Fairs:

CeBIT (ICT trade show)

IFA (Consumer Electronics trade show

gamescom (Europe’s leading games trade show)

IT-SA (IT Security Trade Show)

conhIT (Europe’s largest event for Healthcare IT)

Trade Associations:

Government Entities:

Federal Office for Information Security:

German Regulatory Authority:

Trade Publications:

Commercial Service Contact for Computer Hardware, Consumer Electronics and Telecommunication:

Machine and Precision Tools

Overview USD million

Machine Tools



2016 (estimated)

















Precision Tools


















  • installation, maintenance, and repair
    Exchange rate for 2016; 1 EUR = 1.11 USD

The German market for machine tools is expected to reach EUR 7.7 billion (USD 8.6 billion) in 2016; the market for precision tools EUR 7.6 billion (USD 8.4 billion).

“Industry 4.0” or the “Internet of Things”, the integration of digital manufacturing processes, will be the most important topic in this industry. 84 % of German machine tool manufacturers would like to implement digital production processes, but only 20 % stated that they have already started to use cyber-physical systems (CPS) for new disruptive production models. Although a legal framework and applicable standards for the Internet of Things are not yet available, companies have begun using CPS systems in order to reduce production times by up to 30%. Investment potential for Internet of Things-related technologies is estimated at around EUR 140 billion (USD 155.4 billion) in Europe annually over the next 5 years. The German government has allocated EUR 200 million (USD 222 million) to support R&D for the Internet of Things, and has set up a National Academy of Science and Engineering. As a result, German firms receive counseling on how to implement new production models.

Major industry segments are machining & precision tools; automation and drive solutions for machinery, electronics, IT automation, automotive, robotics, additive manufacturing, and research & technology. U.S. machine & precision tools find a good market potential in Germany; the U.S. was the 8th largest supplier with machinery worth USD 137.7 million exported to Germany in 2014.

Web Resources

VDMA - German Engineering Association

Fraunhofer-Institute for Production Technology and Automation

Trade Fairs

GIFA, Düsseldorf (casting)

Metec, Düsseldorf (materials for casting/foundry industries)

Newcast, Düsseldorf (new materials for casting)

Thermprocess, Düsseldorf (thermo-processing for casting/foundry)

METAV, Düsseldorf (machine & precision tools)

Tube, Düsseldorf

Wire, Düsseldorf

AMB, Stuttgart (machine & precision tools)

EURO-BLECH (sheet metal processing)


Valve World Expo

EMO, Hannover (machine & precision tools)

Schweissen & Schneiden (welding)


Machine Tools and Manufacturing Systems

Precision Tools

Laser and Laser Systems for Material Processing

Metallurgical Plants and Rolling Mills

Thermo-Process Technology

Robotics and Automation

Government Entities:

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy

Ministry of Education and Research


Industrie Anzeiger


Werkstatt und Betrieb

Werkzeug Technik



Form + Werkzeug

Maschine + Werkzeuge

Commercial Service Contact:

Medical Technologies

USD million




2016 (estimated)

2017 (estimated)

Market Size





Local Production















Imports from the U.S.





Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Germany is Europe’s largest market for medical devices and the world’s third largest market behind the United States and Japan, accounting for roughly EUR 30 billion annually, with 170,000 employees of which 15% are active in R&D. The sector is characterized by innovative strength; the solid financial basis of the German medical technology industry, 80% of which are SMEs; and a vibrant startup scene. All major U.S. medical technology suppliers, such as GE Healthcare, Medtronic and 3M, have subsidiaries in Germany and consider the German market the “test lab” for Europe. U.S. medical device exporters to Germany continue to hold a 27-30% import market share. Most promising subsectors are eHealth; biomedical devices; cancer and other diagnostic devices; imaging technologies. Germany hosts the world’s largest annual MED trade show, MEDICA, making Germany a premier marketplace for U.S. companies to reach their global partners and buyers. The whole U.S. medical industry, represented by 500+ U.S. exhibitors, converge every year for the 4 days of MEDICA to sell to Europe and the rest of the world.


The Healthcare/Life Sciences industry is a priority both for the EU and German government: part of the EU Fund for Regional Development (EFRE)) program 2014-2020 and for German Länder (federal states) implementation and tendering. It is central to Germany’s economic and innovation policy. Implementation will focus on smart health and aging: diagnostic, therapy and preventive medicine in (bio) medical research and care; research-based medical technologies; integration of medical technologies in systems and supply solutions; and preservation and improvement of life quality and social engagement. This focus should result in increased opportunities for U.S. suppliers to participate in healthcare infrastructure development projects and partner with German and EU firms. The German Government has established a Federal Healthcare Industry Council and subsequently, a Federal Digital Health Council, to pave the way for an integrated and cost-efficient healthcare system. These offer windows of opportunity for U.S. health solutions providers and investors. Implementation of the eHealth Law is expected to be a driver for digital health and telemedicine technologies. German healthcare politics in 2015 focused on a number of legislative proposals, which affect medical devices companies directly or indirectly. These included the Care Reinforcement Law (GKV-Versorgungsstärkungsgesetz), the Hospital Structure Law (Krankenhausstrukturgesetz), the E-Health Law (E-Health-Gesetz), or the Healthcare Anti-Corruption Law (Gesetz zur Bekämpfung von Korruption im Gesundheitswesen).

Web Resources

Trade Fairs

Medica: (most comprehensive, covers all segments)

Compamed: (medical manufacturing; parallel to Medica)

conhIT: (e-health)

Medtech Europe: (medical manufacturing)

OT-World: (orthopedics and rehabilitation)

Permedicon: (personalized medicine)


Commercial Service Contact:

Pollution Control Equipment


The market volume for pollution control equipment and services in Germany accounted to USD 133 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.6%, making it one of the top markets in Europe. Some of the drivers of demand include stricter environmental regulations, limited availability of raw materials and the necessary adaption to climate change. Subsector market sizes in 2015: Sustainable water technologies USD 61 billion, raw material and material efficiency USD 54 billion, recycling USD 19 billion. Germany is host to well-known trade shows in the field of POL, making it a premier marketplace for U.S. companies to reach their global partners and buyers. POL shows in Germany are: Wasser Berlin (March 2017), IFAT Munich (May 2018) and ACHEMA Frankfurt (June 2018).

Unit: USD million




2016 (estimated)

Total Market Size




Water Technologies




Material Efficiency








Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Water and wastewater

  • Trenchless technologies
  • Water to energy (Heat recovery from wastewater)
  • Phosphorus recovery

Waste management

  • High-tech recycling technologies
  • Cost-effective solutions in the field of waste collection, transportation, separation
  • Resource recovery
  • Waste to energy technologies

Air pollution control

  • Advanced filtration technologies
  • High-tech monitoring systems
  • Innovative gas analyzers

Soil remediation

  • Innovative remediation technologies
  • Biological remediation
  • Off-site/ on-site solutions
  • Innovative soil examination


  • Digitalization of processes
  • Industry 4.0
  • Trenchless technologies
  • Low-impact and cost effective solutions

Web Resources

Trade fairs


Government institutions

Commercial Service Contact:

Renewable Energies


Germany’s “energy change” was based on a fixed feed-in tariff, which is replaced by a lowest bit auction approach. Still, in order to be able to achieve its energy turnaround, Germany has a strong need for grid modernization and extension as well as storage technologies. Experts estimate that this change will need investments of approximately USD 628 billion, representing tremendous business opportunities for U.S. companies.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Smart Grid: German distribution grids require an expansion of 83,885 miles up to 119,925 miles.

Investment needs for grid extension and modernization until 2020: USD 19.5 billion – USD 28.3 billion;

Until 2030: USD 29.2 billion – USD 45 billion.

Energy Storage & Fuel Cell Industry: In 2025, 28 gigawatts of storage capacity will be required (at present, 7 gigawatts); in 2013, sales exceeded USD 137 million. By 2020 sales of fuel cell technology are expected to reach USD 2.7 billion. Investments of USD 34-41 billion are expected by 2030. The market is expected to grow to USD 14.6 billion by 2025.

Solar Industry: USD 2.6 billion of investments in new installations in 2014; USD 14.4 billion sales of PV manufacturers; 34% increase in newly installed nominal capacity between 2012 and 2013. 38.5 TWh production in 2015.


Germany plans to shut down ALL its nuclear power plants by 2022, making it vital for the country to increase its share of energy produced (and stored) from renewables. In 2014, renewables for the first time replaced lignite as the top source of power, accounting for 27.3% of domestic power production.

Germany’s energy grid has a strong need for modernization, extension and storage technologies. For example, it is estimated that by 2025, 28 GW of storage capacity will be needed for energy storage and fuel cells, up from the present 7%. In 2013, fuel cell technology sales exceeded USD 137 million and are expected to reach USD 2.7 billion by 2020. Another key sector is smart grid technology, with German distribution grids requiring an expansion from 83,885 miles up to 119,925 miles. Investment needs for grid extension and modernization until 2020 are expected to be: (USD 20.4 — 29.6 billion; until 2030) USD 30.5 — 47.2 billion.

Other opportunities in the German market include:

Power to Gas Technologies (Long-Term Energy Storage Solutions, Green Hydrogen in the Transportation Sector, Nationwide Hydrogen Infrastructure)

Large-scale Battery Systems

Small-scale Battery Systems (Energy Self-Sufficiency, PV Storage, Retrofit Storage Installations, PV Storage Trends: Service Solutions

Hydrogen production via the highly efficient water electrolysis method

The alternative PEM electrolysis method is significantly gaining in importance

Hydrogen produced from biomass and as a by-product of industrial processes

Fuel cell heating appliances (fuel cells supplying the home with electricity and heat)(Half of the primary energy required for household supply can be saved this way — about 30% of the primary energy demand in Europe comes from residential buildings)

Hydrogen production via the highly efficient water electrolysis method

The alternative PEM electrolysis method is significantly gaining in importance

Hydrogen produced from biomass and as a by-product of industrial processes

Web Resources

Trade Fairs
Husum Wind Energy
Hannover Messe Energy, Hannover Energy Trade Fair

GeoTherm expo + congress

Bio Energy Decentral


Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energie (BEE), German Renewable Energy Federation
Agentur fuer Erneuerbare Energien, Renewable Energies Agency

Bundesnetzagentur, Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railways
Bundesverband Energiespeicher (BVES), German Energy Storage Association
Deutscher Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellen-Verband, German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association
Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE), German Wind Energy Association
Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW), German Solar Association
Bundesverband Geothermie (GtV-BV), German Geothermal Association (BVG)
Fachverband Biogas, German Biogas Association
Deutsche Energie-Pellet Verband
(DEPV), German Pellet Association
Bundesverband Deutscher Wasserkraftwerke e.V. (BDW), German Hydropower Association

Government Entities

Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BMUB), Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety/ Federal Ministry of Environment
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) – Erneuerbare Energie, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Deutsche Energie-Agentur, German Energy Agency (DENA)
Internationale Agentur fuer Erneuerbare Energien, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
German Trade and Invest (GTAI)


Commercial Service Contact:

Safety & Security


Security Market in Germany in 2015 (market volume in mio EUR)

§ Identification Authority (1720)

§ Controls classification of dangerous materials (1280)

§ Forensic Investigate (920)

§ Equipment for civil security (2860)

§ Systems/technology/services for communication (2370)

§ Systems/technology/services for protection against theft (9520)

§ Systems/technology/services for protection against fire/gas/smoke (2010)

§ IT-Security (10640)

The Safety & Security sector includes the homeland security, electronic and physical security, fire & life safety, cybersecurity, and port and infrastructure security subsectors. SEC is an industry where the United States spearheads innovation and where price is not the decisive factor in purchasing decisions. Significant growth will be found in smart city surveillance, smart traffic monitoring, smart utilities, smart education and smart retail - all of which contain key security elements and act to open new markets for U.S. security product and technology suppliers.

The SEC sector represents excellent sales potential for U.S. exporters. The German security technologies market is the largest in Europe exceeding USD 34 billion in 2015. The segment of control and hazardous material identification is expected to grow most in the coming years.

Even though German suppliers have a strong position in this market, the segment provides market opportunities for U.S. exporters. Followed by services for identification, authentication including biometrics and RFID increasing up to USD 1.9 billion in 2015 and IT technologies and services reaching EUR 10.64 billion until 2015 which would make it the biggest sector in terms of market volume in the security sector. Significant growth is also expected for smart city surveillance, smart traffic monitoring, smart utilities and smart retail - all of which contain key security elements and act to open new markets for U.S. security product and technology suppliers.

Web Resources

EnforceTac/IWA – International Trade Fair for security agencies

GPEC - General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference

SMM & MS&D – Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology - International Trade Fair Hamburg

Security - World Forum for Security and Fire Prevention

Interschutz - Fire prevention and protection, disaster relief, rescue and safety - International Trade Fair
A + ASafety, Security and Health at Work - International Trade Fair with Congress


Verband für Sicherheitstechnik e.V. (German Association for Security Technology)

Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit der Wirtschaft e.V. (German Association for Security in Industry and Commerce)

BITKOM e.V./German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media

Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (Federal Office for Information Security)

Bundesverband Deutscher Wach- und Sicherheitsunternehmen e. V. (Federal Association of German (Security) Guard and Security Companies)

Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. (Federal Association of the Digital Economy)

Bundesverband der Hersteller- und Errichterfirmen von Sicherheitssystemen e.V. (BHE) (Federal Association of Producers and Installers of Security Systems)

Bundesverband Technischer Brandschutz e.V. (Federal Association for the technical protection against fire)

VDE Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e.V. (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies)


Euro Security



WIK – Zeitschrift für Sicherheit in der Wirtschaft (Magazine for Security in the Economy)

Commercial Service Contact:

Travel & Tourism


USD million




2016 (estimate)

2017 (estimate)

Expenditure by German Tourists Abroad*





U.S. Expenditure by German Tourists





Exchange Rate

EUR 1: USD 1.3285

EUR 1: USD 1.1095

EUR 1: USD 1.1100

EUR 1: USD 1.1200

*Expenditure by German tourists abroad increased by 1.7% from 2014 to 2015 but due to exchange rate variances, conversion into dollars shows a decrease.

Travel and tourism, a priority National Export Initiative sector, is the second-largest export industry in the United States and the largest services sector export. It accounted for 31 percent of all service exports in 2014. Every 40 visitors will create one new U.S job. In 2014, there were a total of 74.7 million international visitors to the United States and 2.06 million were from Germany. Germany is ranked 7th worldwide in terms of visitors per year making it a profoundly important market for the U.S.

Spending by international travelers to the United States in 2014 was USD220.8 billion and it supported directly or indirectly 1.1 million of the 7.8 million American jobs in the tourism industry. This includes passenger fares on U.S. carriers by international travelers to the United States. In 2014, German visitors to the United States spent a total of USD7.4 billion (ranked 9th worldwide and 2nd after the UK in Europe) with a 2% increase from 2013.

Germany hosts the world’s largest travel show, ITB, making Germany a premier marketplace for U.S. tourism companies to reach their global partners and buyers. VUSA Germany (Visit USA Committee Germany e.V.), together with Brand USA, will promote the VISIT USA brand at 4 major consumer travel shows, 3 trade events, 2 media events, several networking events and online and in print. In addition, Brand USA will conduct familiarization trips to the U.S. for travel agents, promote their giant screen film on the U.S. National Park Service (as part of its great outdoors theme), support culinary tourism events and continue its cooperative advertising campaign with major tour operators. The goal is to attract 2.16 million German visitors to the United States in 2016.


Leverage the existing resources in Germany and participate in outreach and promotion activities with VUSA Germany and Brand USA Germany, e.g. ITB USA media breakfast in March 2017. German tour operators are interested in non-traditional product offerings, particularly for repeat visitors who may already be familiar with primary U.S. destinations. Increasing promotional content for younger audiences will help attract millennials.

Web Resources

Travel Trade Fairs:

TC Leipzig:

CMT Stuttgart:

Reisen Hamburg: Munich:

ITB Berlin:

IMEX Frankfurt:

Travel Expo & FVW Congress Cologne (B2B fair):


Entry and visa regulations information:


Official site of the Visit USA Committee Germany e.V.:

Brand USA’s consumer website in German:

Consumer travel website on United States in German:

German landing page for Recreation.Gov:

Commercial Service Contact:

Name: Elizabeth Walsh


Phone: +49-69-7535-3120

Address: U.S. Consulate, Frankfurt, Germany

Agricultural Sectors

USD million

 Product Category

Total German Imports 2015

German Imports from the U.S.

U.S. Import Growth (2011-2015)

Market attractiveness for USA

Tree Nuts




The United States is the biggest supplier of tree nuts to Germany. Most tree nuts are used as ingredients by the food processing sector. Almonds are the most important commodity within this category. Further products with good sales potential include walnuts, pistachios, and pecans.

Fish and Seafood Products



The German market offers lucrative opportunities for fish and seafood products. Fish consumption is growing as consumers associate fishery products with a healthy diet. Best prospects for U.S. and seafood exports are salmon, shrimps, crabs, caviar substitutes, cuttle fish and squid, sea urchins catfish, lobster and scallops.

Wine and Beer



Germany has a high share of domestic wine production. However, good prospects exist for “new world wines” including those from the U.S. The U.S. has also steadily increased its exports of beer made from malt to Germany.

Processed Fruits and Vegetables



Those products are mostly used as ingredients by the food processing sector for the production of pastries and cereals. Dried fruits and prepared nuts are also popular as a snack. Commodities with notably increasing sales are dried grapes (including raisins), dried prunes, and preserved cherries.

Red Meats Fresh/Chilled/



Good opportunities for U.S. high quality beef produced without growth hormones.

Snack Foods (excl. Nuts)




German demand for healthy, organic, innovative, and exotic snacks continues to grow. U.S. import growth has expanded in this category predominately due to increasing imports of cocoa preparations and chocolate.

Pet Foods (Dog and Cat)




Sales of cat food have the biggest market share. U.S. exports have increased lately. There is potential for premium pet food especially.

U.S. Embassy Contact:
Office of Agricultural Affairs:

  Notice to Visitors!

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  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.