German Market Insights
Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the fourth largest in the world. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has now created a new set of challenges for the German market.
Enterprise Ireland is responding to the global crisis by working with Irish exporters to help them avail of business response supports announced by the Government. These supports are designed to help businesses stabilise and adapt to the evolving situation, in preparation for getting back on the road to recovery
Germany’s population of 83 million is enjoying record-low unemployment and rising wages. It is Ireland’s third largest market for services exports and Ireland’s fourth largest market for merchandise exports. For Irish exporters, Germany offers the twin benefits of zero currency risk and close geographic proximity, accessed via several main city airports. Germany is Ireland’s third largest tourism market and the second largest source of inward investment.
€41,358 GDP per capita (2020)
€1.29bn Enterprise Ireland client exports (2020)
4th Largest Economy in the World
Europe’s Largest Economy
Get Export Ready
Selling successfully in Germany is seen as an international stamp of credibility. Conquering this large and sophisticated economy not only sets you apart from competitors, it positions you to launch your product or service in many other world markets. This is by virtue of German companies’ strong exporting culture.
Having German reference customers and/or German certification for your products helps build a strong reputation and enables you to win business across the globe. Entering the supply chain of an export-orientated German company can also open doors to further international opportunities. Irish companies that have been successfully accepted into the supply chains of German multinationals have leveraged these relationships to enter their German customer’s international supply chain and expand into new markets.
Key Market Sectors
Enterprise Ireland is playing a key role in supporting ambitious companies seeking opportunities in Germany’s automotive, life sciences and fintech sectors.
Additionally, software, engineering, construction, ICT and agritech continue to perform and add appeal to Irish exporters and service providers who want to scale, and develop a presence in the German market.
Read more on Germany’s sectoral successes in our Going Global Guide.
- 1st in Europe and 5th in the world for dairy production.
- 3rd largest online retail market in Europe
- 1st in Europe for construction investment.
If you get a meeting with a German prospect, chances are they are interested.
Meetings begin and end on time, and follow an agenda. Little meeting time is given over to small-talk – get to the point quickly using direct, clear, logical language.
Germans are generally forthright, and expect the same from a potential supplier. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your prospect who will be attending, and what outcome your host expects from the meeting.
Best Routes to Market
Choosing the right route to market is very important.
Agents bring a deep understanding of local business practices and distributors can deliver products geographically across large nations. Joint ventures and acquisitions bring valuable established contacts, customers and market knowledge. Local representatives may not always be necessary with many global markets open to direct sales and prospecting from Ireland. Other markets require a ‘boots on the ground’ approach – the power of referrals and networking shouldn’t be underestimated. The key routes to market in Germany are commercial agents, distributors and online selling solutions. Read
Learn more on Market Entry Strategies for Germany here
Before You Go
Before you go, we recommend you invest some time in researching the terrain before you explore the German market. Here’s a few starting points to consider…
- Market Landscape
- Market Trends
- Target Market
- Market Segmentation
- Market Competition
- Market Research Resources
Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market, and country information to explore opportunities and compete in international markets.
Helping You Succeed
We are committed to helping you succeed in global markets and have an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise in the German market.
Enterprise Ireland assists clients entering new markets with pre-visit support, in-market support, international trade events, additional supports and access to mentors.
Our Market Advisors are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.