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Permanent link for Gains & Guidance in Germany on May 8, 2023

            Germany has one of the most successful economies in the world, ranking fourth globally in GDP. This is largely due to its reliable infrastructure and workforce, as well as its positive social and legal climate. Germany has a wealth of scientific and technological research with firm practical applications. 

            Efficient transportation networks and high nationwide competence in English make Germany an accessible location to foster business partnerships. In addition, impressive import-export statistics state that Germany is “the second largest importer and third largest exporter of consumer oriented agricultural products worldwide, and by far the most important European market for foreign producers.”

However, there are a few hurdles foreign companies may face. Because Germany has such a successful economy and leads most of Europe in trade, it reserves the right to be choosy with whom forms meaningful partnerships. This means that companies must go through long bureaucratic processes when setting up shop in the country. However, these “drawbacks” simply mean that the chance to trade with German companies should be regarded as a high accomplishment. 

            German business etiquette is more formal than other trade relationships may be. Success in the business world of Germany relies on these key components:

  • Punctuality: German partners expect punctuality, including setting meetings well ahead and arriving on time and prepared. 
  • Formality: Foreign partners are expected to maintain a high level of formality, including using titles and steering clear of controversial or personal topics. Partners should allow the German party to initiate more casual conversations. Additionally, while many German people are proficient in English, it’s considered a thoughtful gesture to translate documents into German.
  • Detail: German business partners appreciate organization. According to Wolters Kluwer,  “The German mindset values detail, order, and structure. Expect to examine each aspect of a project in detail with your contacts.”

Interested in learning more?  Join us on May 24th for a virtual Business Travelers Series session on Navigating Germany! We will cover how-tos and best practices for doing business in the German market, as well as, how to maneuver through cultural nuances business professionals often face while working with or traveling to Germany. This event is generously sponsored by The Gerald R.Ford International Airport  and  Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).


About the Contributor

Parker Mackey is a Student Assistant at GVSU’s Van Andel Global Trade Center . They are a 2nd-year junior pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, emphasis painting. They also work for GVSU’s History Department, transcribing for the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project . They enjoy painting, hiking, and listening to folk punk.

Categories: Culture Germany
Posted on Permanent link for Gains & Guidance in Germany on May 8, 2023.

Page last modified May 8, 2023