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Germany: Market Profile

Picture: Germany factsheet
Picture: Germany factsheet

1. Overview

Germany’s economic growth will remain robust, driven by global trade, high levels of investment and a strong labour market. Firming overseas demand, coupled with a weak euro, has also started to lend support to exports and manufacturing activities. As the largest market in Europe, Germany is a major destination for foreign direct investment; consequently, a vast foreign direct investment (FDI) stock has accumulated over time. Looking ahead, the solid labour market, the pick-up in world trade and the firming European Union (EU) recovery should continue to be the main drivers of the German economy. Higher domestic and export demand will keep capacity utilisation high and is set to boost business investment.

Source: Fitch Solutions

2. Major Economic/Political Events and Upcoming Elections

March 2016
The Alternative for Germany party made strong showing in three state-level elections, beat Christian Democrats into third place in Chancellor Merkel's home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

December 2017
The Alternative for Germany surged into third place at parliamentary elections, behind the much-weakened Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.

March 2018
Chancellor Merkel reformed the "Grand Coalition" with the Social Democrats.

October 2018
Chancellor Merkel announced that she would not seek re-election in 2021 federal election and stepped down as Christian Democrats chair in December.

Sources: BBC country profile – Timeline, Fitch Solutions

3. Major Economic Indicators

Graph: Germany real GDP and inflation
Graph: Germany real GDP and inflation
Graph: Germany GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Germany GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Germany unemployment rate
Graph: Germany unemployment rate
Graph: Germany current account balance
Graph: Germany current account balance

e = estimate, f = forecast
Sources: International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: November 3, 2018

4. External Trade

4.1 Merchandise Trade

Graph: Germany merchandise trade
Graph: Germany merchandise trade

Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: November 3, 2018

Graph: Germany major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Germany major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Germany major export markets (2017)
Graph: Germany major export markets (2017)
Graph: Germany major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Germany major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Germany major import markets (2017)
Graph: Germany major import markets (2017)

Sources: Trade Map, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 31, 2018

4.2 Trade in Services

Graph: Germany trade in services
Graph: Germany trade in services

e = estimate
Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: November 3, 2018

5. Trade Policies

  • Germany has been a WTO member since January 1, 1995 and a member of GATT since October 1, 1951. It is also a member state of the EU. Germany incorporates EU regulatory norms. As a Eurozone member, it has also adopted the euro as its legal tender.

  • As an EU member, a common tariff applies to the import of goods across the external borders of the EU. The EU has an overall simple tariff of 5.1%. Once goods are cleared by customs authorities upon entry into any EU member state, these imported goods can move freely among EU member states without any additional customs procedures. The EU updated its trade policy (and, by extension, its import tariffs, customs, duties and procedures) in 2017.

  • The EU is party to some 50 free trade agreements (FTAs) and, consequently, access to other markets of the countries concerned is currently mediated through those agreements. The EU’s scheme on generalised system of preferences (GSP) entered into effect on January 1, 2014. Under the scheme, tariff preferences have been removed for imports into the EU from countries where per-capita income has exceeded USD4,000 for four years in a row. As a result, the number of countries that enjoy preferential access to EU markets was reduced from 176 to less than 80. While China remains a beneficiary, many of its exports, such as toys, electrical equipment, footwear, textiles, wooden articles, and watches and clocks have already been “graduated” from the preferential treatment.

  • Trade bureaucracy and customs delays are a significant hindrance to foreign investors, particularly those outside of the EU. Though there are increasing efforts to reduce trade bureaucracy, paper-based procedures remain cumbersome and costs and connectivity issues add to market barriers. The German Länder (federal states) have a say in European affairs through the Bundesrat (upper chamber of parliament). It is incumbent upon the Federal Government to instruct the Bundesrat at an early stage on all plans at EU level that are relevant for the Länder. The federal government notifies draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) through a National Notification Office within the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

  • In December 2016, EU states agreed on a proposal to modernise the EU's trade defence instruments, with a view to shielding EU producers from damage caused by unfair competition. The proposed regulation amends current anti-dumping and anti-subsidies regulations to better respond to unfair trade practices, and furnishes Europe's trade defence instruments with more transparency, quicker procedures and more effective enforcement. In exceptional cases, such as in the presence of distortions in the cost of raw materials, it will enable the EU to impose higher duties through the limited suspension of the lesser duty rule.

  • In 2016, the European Commission (EC) introduced an import licensing regime for steel products exceeding 2.5 tonnes. The regulation will be active until May 15, 2020. In Q215, the EC issued regulations on trade restrictions on cattle, beef, watermelons and prepared tomatoes with Turkey. This will help to protect domestic agriculture and regional farming businesses.

  • The EU has imposed various anti-dumping measures on a wide range of products, predominantly in the areas of textiles, machine parts, steel, iron and machinery on goods coming from China and a few other Asian nations to protect domestic industries. Currently, there are a number of mainland China-origin products that are subject to the EU’s anti-dumping duties, including bicycles, bicycle parts, ceramic tiles, ceramic tableware and kitchenware, fasteners, ironing boards and solar glass, which are of interest to Hong Kong and regional exporters. In November 2016, the EC imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of some primary and semi-processed metals from mainland China. The rate of duty is between 43.5%-81.1% of the net free-at-Union-frontier price before duty depending on the company. As at end-December 2017, the EU did not apply any anti-dumping measures on imports from Hong Kong.

Sources: WTO - Trade Policy Review, Fitch Solutions

6. Trade Agreement

6.1 Trade Updates

As a member of the EU, Germany is part of the same trade agreements as its 27 peer states. The region negotiates and enters into trade agreements as a collective due to the single market nature of the union.

6.2 Multinational Trade Agreements


  1. The EU Common Market: The transfer of capital, goods, services, or labour between member nations enjoy 'free movement'; the common market extends to the 28 member nations of the EU, namely: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. As Germany's main trade partners are in the EU, the absence of customs charges with member countries greatly enhances its trade volumes.

  2. European Economic Area-European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland): The European Economic Area (EEA) unites the EU member states and the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) into an internal market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable goods, services, capital, and persons to move freely about the EEA in an open and competitive environment, a concept referred to as the four freedoms. While it enhances trade flows between these countries and Germany, only Switzerland is a fairly major trading partner.

  3. EU-Turkey Customs Union: the EU and Turkey are linked by a Customs Union agreement, which came into force on December 31, 1995. Turkey has been a candidate country to join the EU since 1999, and is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. The customs union with the EU provides tariff-free access to the European market for Turkey, benefitting both exporters and importers. Turkey is the EU's fourth largest export market and fifth largest provider of imports. The EU is by far Turkey's number one import and export partner. Turkey's exports to the EU are mostly machinery and transport equipment, followed by manufactured goods. At present, the Customs Union agreement covers all industrial goods, but does not address agriculture (except processed agricultural products), services or public procurement. Bilateral trade concessions apply to agricultural as well as coal and steel products. In December 2016, the EC proposed the modernisation of the Customs Union and to further extend the bilateral trade relations to areas, such as services, public procurement and sustainable development.

  4. EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA): CETA is expected to strengthen trade ties between the two regions, having provisionally entered into force in September 2017. Some 98% of trade between Canada and the EU is duty-free under CETA. The agreement is expected to boost trade between partners by more than 20%. CETA also opens up government procurement. Canadian companies will be able to bid on opportunities at all levels of the EU government procurement market and vice-versa. CETA means that Canadian provinces, territories and municipalities are opening their procurement to foreign entities for the first time, albeit with some limitations regarding energy utilities and public transport.

Ratification Pending

  1. EU-Japan Trade Agreement: In July 2018, the EU and Japan signed a trade deal that promises to eliminate 99% of tariffs that cost businesses in the EU and Japan nearly EUR1 billion annually. According to the EC, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will create a trade zone covering 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP. The result of four years of negotiation, the EPA was finalised in late 2017 and is expected to come into force by the end of the current mandate of the EC in 2019. The total trade volume of goods and services between the EU and Japan is EUR86 billion. The key parts of the agreement will cut duties on a wide range of agricultural products and it seeks to open up services markets, in particular financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport. The agreement is awaiting ratification by the European Parliament and the Japanese Diet, following which it could enter into force in 2019. At the same time, negotiations with Japan continue on investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution. Japan is the EU’s second largest trading partner in Asia after China. EU exports to Japan are dominated by motor vehicles, machinery, pharmaceuticals, optical and medical instruments and electrical machinery.

  2. EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Angola, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe): An agreement between parties was reached in 2016 and is awaiting ratification, with 13 of the 35 needed states having ratified the agreement as of October 2018.

  3. EU-Central America Association Agreement (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Dominican Republic): An agreement between the parties was reached in 2012 and is awaiting ratification (29 of the 34 parties have ratified the agreement as of October 2018).

Under Negotiation

  1. EU-Australia: The EU, Australia's second largest trade partner, has launched negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement with Australia. Bilateral trade in goods between the two partners has risen steadily in recent years, reaching almost EUR48 billion in 2017, while bilateral trade in services added an additional EUR27 billion. The negotiations aim at removing trade barriers, streamlining standards and putting European companies exporting to or doing business in Australia on an equal footing with those from countries that have signed up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership or other trade agreements with Australia. The Council of the EU authorised opening negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and Australia on May 22, 2018.

  2. EU-United States (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership): This agreement was expected to increase trade and services, but it is unlikely to pass under a Trump administration in the United States, against the backdrop of rising global trade tensions.

Sources: WTO Regional Trade Agreements database, Government websites, Fitch Solutions

7. Investment Policy

7.1 Foreign Direct Investment

Graph: Germany FDI stock
Graph: Germany FDI stock
Graph: Germany FDI flow
Graph: Germany FDI flow

Source: UNCTAD
Date last reviewed: November 3, 2018

7.2 Foreign Direct Investment Policy

  1. Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), established in 2009, is the national economic development agency. The GTAI acts as a facilitator for foreign companies looking to invest in Germany. A number of federal states also have regional investment promotion agencies.

  2. Germany has an open and welcoming attitude towards FDI. In the last ten years, FDI stocks in Germany doubled. While this FDI mainly originated from other European countries, the United States, and Japan, FDI from emerging economies, and in particular China, has grown substantially since 2005, even if from a low level. To promote the development of competitive industries, such as smart solutions, digital economy, electronics and micro-technology,  energy efficiency and green building, energy storage, life sciences, logistics, machinery and equipment, corporate services environment and resources, aerospace and automobiles, Germany has put in place various incentives programs for both local and foreign investors, offering different measures to reimburse investment costs (eg, cash incentives, public loan and public guarantee programmes) and subsidy costs (eg, labour-related and R&D incentives) for location-based investments.

  3. While the EU states are generally open to FDI, however, in February 2017, Germany, France and Italy requested the EC to review the possibility of EU member states being given the ability to block foreign investment on the grounds of reciprocity.

  4. The German legal, regulatory and accounting systems can be complex, but are transparent and consistent with international norms. Businesses enjoy considerable freedom within a well regulated environment. Foreign and domestic investors are treated equally when it comes to investment incentives, and the establishment and protection of real and intellectual property. Foreign investors can fully rely on the legal system, which is efficient and sophisticated. At the same time, this system requires investors to pay attention to their legal obligations. First-time investors will need to ensure that they have the necessary legal expertise to meet all requirements.

  5. Despite the fact that Germany has 129 investment protection agreements in force, the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), which were initiated in 2013, triggered political tensions, including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms.

  6. The BMWi may review acquisitions of domestic companies by foreign buyers in individual cases to assess whether these transactions pose a risk to the public order or national security of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Foreign Trade and Payments Act and the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance provide the legal basis. However, in practice, restrictions of foreign direct investment are very rare. German law provides that private property can be expropriated for public purposes only in a non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with established principles of constitutional and international law. There is due process and transparency of purpose, and investors and lenders to expropriated entities receive prompt, adequate, and effective compensation.

  7. Cross-sector investment review procedures apply to any acquisitions of a company by a foreign investor located outside the territory of the EU or the EFTA region whereby investors acquire ownership of at least 25% of the voting rights of a company resident in Germany. There is no requirement for investors to obtain approval for or notify any acquisition, but the BMWi may conduct a review within three months from the day of the conclusion of the acquisition agreement. An investor may also request a binding certificate of non-objection from the BMWi in advance of the planned acquisition to obtain legal certainty at an early stage. If the BMWi does not open an in-depth review within one month from the receipt of the request, the certificate shall be deemed as granted.

  8. Special rules apply for the acquisition of companies that operate in sensitive security areas, including defence and IT security. In contrast to the cross-sectoral rules, the sensitive acquisitions must be notified in written form, including basic information of the planned acquisition, the buyer, the domestic company that is the subject of the acquisition and the respective fields of business. The BMWi may open a formal review procedure within one month after receiving notification, or the acquisition shall be deemed as approved. If a review procedure is opened, the buyer is required to submit further documents. The acquisition may be restricted or prohibited only within one month after the full set of documents has been submitted. Any decisions resulting from review procedures are subject to judicial review by an administrative court.

  9. Germany is a member of both the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, meaning local courts must enforce international arbitration awards under certain conditions.

  10. Before engaging in commercial activities, companies and business operators have to register in public directories, the two most significant of which are the commercial register (Handelsregister) and the trade office register (Gewerberegister). GTAI, the country’s economic development agency, can assist in the registration processes.

  11. Germany has bilateral investment treaties in force with over 130 countries and territories. Treaties with former sovereign entities (including Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Sudan and Yugoslavia) continue to apply in an additional seven cases.

  12. While Germany's Foreign Economic Law contains a provision permitting restrictions on private direct investment flows in either direction for reasons of foreign policy, foreign exchange, or national security, in practice, restrictions have mainly been imposed in the sectors of air transport, maritime transport, inland waterways, and rail transport only. In 2016, the German government withdrew its approval and announced a re-examination of the acquisition of German semi-conductor producer Aixtron by China’s Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund based on national security concerns. Before the German government could reissue a decision, Fujian Grand Chip withdrew its offer as the result of a concomitant negative CFIUS ruling. Additionally, Germany limits the foreign provision of employee placement services, such as providing temporary office support, domestic help, or executive search services.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, ITA, U.S. Department of Commerce, Fitch Solutions

7.3 Free Trade Zones and Investment Incentives

Free Trade Zone/Incentive ProgrammeMain Incentives Available
1. Freeport of Bremerhaven (Freihafen Bremerhaven)

2. Freeport of Cuxhaven (Freihafen Cuxhaven), since 1896

3. Freeport of Duisburg (Freihafen Duisburg), since 1989

4. Speicherstadt, Hamburg

In recent years, falling tariffs and the progressive enlargement of the EU have gradually eroded much of the utility and attractiveness of duty-free zones. Kiel and Emden lost free-trade zone status in 2010. Hamburg lost free-trade zone status in 2013, and Deggendorf lost free port status in 2016.
The free-trade zones in Germany are geographic areas where the government authority provides economic incentives to companies operating in the region. Foreign and domestic merchandise can be brought in and sold without being subject to taxation. Germany’s free trade zones are also called foreign free zones, free ports or bonded warehouses.

Given their tax regime, free trade zones attract investments in the German economy. The Community Customs Code regulates the activity within the free trade zones of Germany. These zones are situated within ports and process and manufacture value-added products for EU external markets.

Both German and foreign companies can do business in these free trade zones. Liberal rules replace the normal customs regime for import and export, promoting economic development and generating more employment. Germany’s free-trade zones offer a broader set of incentives, such as further tax exemptions, simplified administrative procedures and the provision of infrastructure. Germany’s free trade zones have a fixed perimeter with entry and exit points that are subject to customs supervision. The way in which Community and non-Community goods and merchandise are dealt upon import and export is the main criteria of free trade zones classification. There are two types of free trade zones in Germany:

- Control type I free zones - they operate like free warehouses and the free zones are not buildings, but geographical locations. The zone is protected by walls or fences. The goods fall under the free zone regime and are checked by customs authorities upon entry and exit.

- Control type II free zones - physical control of goods and merchandise does not take place at entry and exit. The companies operating in the free trade zones have to declare their goods in order to benefit from the different incentives promoted by these areas.
Other incentivesInvestment or operational incentives in German are generally provided in the form of direct subsidies as nonrepayable cash grants, reduced-interest loans, public guarantees or silent participations.

Incentives mainly focus on the promotion of business expansion and new investments, renewable energy (eg, solar and wind energy), energy efficiency, electromobility and environmental protection, social housing, health care, infrastructure and agriculture, R&D and recruitment, particularly of the long-term unemployed.

Investor production facility set-up costs can be significantly reduced by cash incentives provided in the form of grants. There is one major program directing the allocation of these cash grants, the "Joint Task for Improving Regional Economic Structures" (Gemeinschaftsaufgabe, GRW), throughout Germany. The program is issued by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It defines maximum possible incentives rates for all regions eligible for funding throughout Germany which are published for each funding period as the Ministry's so called "incentives map." Federal and state investment incentives, including investment grants, labour-related and R&D incentives; public loans, and public guarantees are available to domestic and foreign investors alike. Different incentives can be combined. In general, foreign and German investors gave to meet the same criteria for eligibility. The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy offers investment grants intended to improve business conditions in certain regions in Germany. These grants are approved by the EU Commission. The development banks of the individual Federal States offer attractive interest rates, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). R&D incentives are provided by the EU, the German Government and the German state governments in the form of R&D grants, public loans, and special partnership programs.

Source: Fitch Solutions

8. Taxation – 2018


9. Foreign Worker Requirements

9.1 Working Permit

EU member citizens do not require a work permit, but their employer must inform the job office about their being hired. Citizens of the EEA (with EU member states, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) and Switzerland do not require a visa to enter, reside and work in the country.

No work permit is needed by foreigners from outside the EU if they have a permanent residence or family reunion permit, have been granted asylum, study in the country or have blue or green cards.

9.2 Obtaining Foreign Worker Permits

Individuals from non-EU countries require residence and work permits. The procedure to be granted a work permit includes a review of the local job market to ensure that there is no German or EU job seekers available to fulfil the position. Employers must first apply for a permit to hire foreign workers. The vacant position must be reported to the local district Labour Office and cannot be changed at a later stage to fit the profile of a potential employee. The candidate must then apply for a work permit. The government issues the permit for a maximum of two years, which can be repeatedly prolonged, but always for a maximum of two years, and may be renewed as many times as needed. The permit process takes an average of one month.

9.3 Blue Card

Intended for the stay of a highly qualified employee. A foreigner holding a blue card may reside in the country and work in the job for which the blue card was issued, or change that job under the conditions defined. High qualification means a duly completed university education or higher professional education which has lasted for at least three years. The blue card is issued with the term of validity three months longer than the term for which the employment contract has been concluded, however, for the maximum period of two years. The blue card can be extended. One of the conditions for issuing the blue card is a wage criterion – the employment contract must contain gross monthly or yearly wage at least at the rate of 1.5 multiple of the gross average annual wage.

Sources: Government websites, Fitch Solutions

10. Risks

10.1 Sovereign Credit Ratings

Rating (Outlook)Rating Date
Aaa (Stable)
S&P GlobalAAA (Stable)
Fitch Ratings
AAA (Stable)03/08/2018

Sources: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings

10.2 Competitiveness and Efficiency Indicators

World Ranking
Ease of Doing Business Index
Ease of Paying Taxes Index
Logistics Performance Index
Corruption Perception Index
IMD World Competitiveness12/61

Sources: World Bank, IMD, Transparency International

10.3 Fitch Solutions Risk Indices

World Ranking
Economic Risk Index Rank5/202
Short-Term Economic Risk Score
Long-Term Economic Risk Score76.9
Political Risk Index Rank18/202
Short-Term Political Risk Score
Long-Term Political Risk Score87.8
Operational Risk Index Rank17/201
Operational Risk Score72.2

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 31, 2018

10.4 Fitch Solutions Risk Summary

Germany remains among the top five largest global economies, but is set to slip over the long term. The main economic issues Germany faces, stem from the need to reduce regulations and costs, restructuring the domestic banking sector, managing the costs of an ambitious energy policy and playing a leading role in the future of the Eurozone.

Although it is one of the most stable countries in the world with a strong logistics profile and highly skilled labour, Germany will face issues, such as re-defining its role in Europe.

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 31, 2018

10.5 Fitch Solutions Political and Economic Risk Indices

Graph: Germany short term political risk index
Graph: Germany short term political risk index
Graph: Germany long term political risk index
Graph: Germany long term political risk index
Graph: Germany short term economic risk index
Graph: Germany short term economic risk index
Graph: Germany long term economic risk index
Graph: Germany long term economic risk index

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Economic and Political Risk Indices
Date last reviewed: October 8, 2018

10.6 Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index

Operational RiskLabour Market RiskTrade and Investment RiskLogistics RiskCrime and Security Risk
Germany Score73.963.4
Developed States Average73.063.370.976.281.8
Developed States Position (out of 27)151319818
Developed States Average73.063.370.976.281.8
Developed States Position (out of 27)151319818
Global Average49.649.749.949.149.8
Global Position (out of 201)17

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index

Graph: Germany vs global and regional averages
Graph: Germany vs global and regional averages
Operational Risk IndexLabour Market Risk Index
Trade and Investment Risk IndexLogistics Risk IndexCrime and Security Risk Index
New Zealand77.573.075.772.089.4
United States76.979.075.282.870.5
Isle of Man63.862.061.849.282.3
Developed Markets Averages73.063.3
Global Markets Averages49.649.7

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index
Date last reviewed: October 8, 2018

11. Hong Kong Connection

11.1 Hong Kong’s Trade with Germany

Graph: Major export commodities to Germany (2017)
Graph: Major export commodities to Germany (2017)
Graph: Major import commodities from Germany (2017)
Graph: Major import commodities from Germany (2017)

Note: Graph shows the main Hong Kong exports to/import from Germany (by consignment)
Date last reviewed: October 31, 2018

Graph: Merchandise exports to Germany
Graph: Merchandise exports to Germany
Graph: Merchandise imports from Germany
Graph: Merchandise imports from Germany

Note: Graph shows Hong Kong exports to/import from Germany (by consignment)
Exchange Rate HK$/US$, average
7.76 (2013)
7.75 (2014)
7.75 (2015)
7.76 (2016)
7.79 (2017)
Sources: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: October 8, 2018

Growth rate (%)
Number of German residents visiting Hong Kong225,183
Number of Germans residing in Hong Kong2,0034.5

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism Board, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division

Growth rate (%)
Number of European residents visiting Hong Kong1,929,824
Number of developed state citizens residing in Hong Kong65,6801.6

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism Board, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division, Fitch Solutions

11.2 Commercial Presence in Hong Kong

Growth rate (%)
Number of Geman Companies in Hong Kong382
- Regional headquarters87
- Regional offices 1406.9
- Local offices 1559.9

Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department

11.3 Treaties and agreements between Hong Kong and Germany

  • Following the entry into force of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) in February 1998, Hong Kong and Germany are in the process of negotiating a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) to accommodate greater synergies.
  • Germany has a DTA with China which entered into force on April 6, 2016, as well as a Bilateral Investment Treaty with China that entered into force on November 11, 2005.
Sources: Fitch Solutions, Government Websites

11.4 Chamber of Commerce (or Related Organisations) in Hong Kong

German Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong

The German Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest European Chambers in Hong Kong. It provides a wide range of services to its over 450 members, and serves as a forum for networking, business development, and opportunities in Hong Kong, Asia Pacific and Germany.

Address: 3601, Tower One, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Email: info@hongkong.ahk.de
Tel: (852) 2526 5481

Source: German Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong

German Consulate General Hong Kong
Address: 21/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2105 8788

Source: German Consulate General Hong Kong

11.5 Visa Requirements for Hong Kong Residents

  • Holders of Hong Kong SAR, BNO and Macao SAR passports are entitled to a visa-free entry to Schengen countries lasting no more than 90 days in any six-month period from the date of first entry in the territory of the member states.
  • Both the Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) and the Macao Travel Document are recognised by all Schengen countries. The holders of such documents, however, need to apply for a Schengen visa.

Source: German Consulate General Hong Kong

Content provided by Picture: Fitch Solutions – BMI Research
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