A Guide to DoingBusiness in Germany

German Market Insights

Market Overview

Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the fourth largest in the world. Germany’s population of 81 million is enjoying record-low unemployment and rising wages. It is Ireland’s second 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.

82.7m Population

GDP Growth is 2.2%

4th Largest Economy in the World

Europe’s Largest Economy

Get Export Ready

Successfully selling into the German market earns you credibility internationally. Apart from being a large market in its own right, Germany is a gateway to many other international markets. This is by virtue of German companies’ strong exporting culture. Having German reference customers and/or German certification for your products helps build international credibility and enables you to win business in other markets. Entering the supply chain of an export-orientated German company can open international opportunities too. Irish companies that have successfully worked with German multinationals and been accepted into their supply chains have found this can be leveraged to enter their German customer’s international supply chain.

Key Market Sectors

As Brexit plans progress, Irish businesses are exploring export options in sectors across the Eurozone markets, the USA and Canada, the APAC region and the ASEAN.

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.
  • 2nd largest European online retail market
  • 1st in Europe for construction investment.

Doing Business

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…

  1. Market Landscape
  2. Market Trends
  3. Target Market
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Market Competition
  6. 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.

Germany
Eddie Goodwin

Email
eddie.goodwin@enterprise-ireland.com

Address
Enterprise Ireland Düsseldorf office
Derendorfer Allee 6
40476 Düsseldorf
Germany

Telephone
00 49 (211) 4705920