It has the world’s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP, measured at $3.628 trillion by the IMF in 2011. It is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security. Germany has been the home of many influential scientists and inventors, and is known for its cultural and political history. It is part of the Schengen Area and since 1999 a member of the eurozone. Germany is a member of the G8, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011–2012 term.
Germany has a social market economy with a highly qualified labour force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation according to the Boston Consulting Group.
Germany is recognised for its specialised small and medium enterprises. Around 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are labelled hidden champions, as reported by Businessweek. With its central position in Europe, Germany is a transport hub. This is reflected in its dense and modern transport networks. Germany has established a polycentric network of high-speed trains. Germany is relatively poor in raw materials. Only lignite and potash salt are available in economically significant quantities. Power plants burning lignite are one of the main sources of electricity in Germany. Oil, natural gas and other resources are, for the most part, imported from other countries. As a result, Germany imports about two thirds of its energy.
Germany imports nearly €1.155 trillion worth of goods. Mainly things like machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, and metals. While it exports nearly €1.288 trillion, products like machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, and textiles. Exports account for more than one-third of national output, according to the Library of Congress. Germany is the leading producer of wind turbines and solar power technology in the world. Germany is the third most visited country in Europe, with a total of 369.6 million overnights during 2010, according to statistics provided by the German government. Germany is also one of the leading countries in developing and using green technologies. Companies specializing in green technology have an estimated turnover of €200 billion. The lead markets of Germany’s green technology industry are power generation, sustainable mobility, material efficiency, energy efficiency, waste management and recycling, sustainable water management.
Overall, Germany is a great market to do business in. It was ranked at 19th for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank for 2012. In the same ranking, Germany was ranked at 97th for Protecting Investors, 12th for Trading Across Borders, and 8th for Enforcing Contracts. So clearly Germany ie a relatively trade inducing environment. While Germany is at the very center of the Eurozone Crisis, it has been able to wade through the economic turmoil relatively safely. While the future of the Eurozone is not clear, if there is going to be any European country that will survive the crisis, it is Germany.