Taking into consideration the growing global instability as well as the changing tasks the country’s armed forces are facing in the area of external security – including national defence and international deployments - the German government decided to reverse the trend of recent years and to significantly raise its defence spending. It is indicative that the defence budget will be increased by 1.7 billion Euros in 2017, reaching 36.6 billion Euros, while an additional 10.2 billion Euros to that previously planned, will be allocated to defence, up to the year 2020. More on that, spending on internal security will rise by approximately 540 million Euros in the 2017 budget and by a total of over 2.2 billion Euros, up to 2020.

Germany, the largest national economy in Europe, has performed well throughout the last decade and has demonstrated resilience in the face of global economic uncertainty. This was nevertheless felt in 2009, when Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by -5.6%, but recovered in 2010 and 2011, recording increases of 4.1% and 3.7% respectively. From 2012 to 2014, Germany experienced 3 years of weak economic growth (less than 1.5% of the GDP), before economic performance improved again in 2015. At the beginning of 2016, GDP growth had been strong at 0.7%, while during the second quarter, economy continued to grow, but at a slightly slower pace, as GDP increased by 0.4%. According to a report provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), economic growth in Germany is projected to remain solid, as a robust labour market, while low oil prices are expected to strengthen private consumption, and low interest rates and the housing needs of refugees, will boost residential investment.
Germany is one of the countries with the highest employment rates in the EU. According to provisional results provided by the Federal Statistical Office in the second quarter of 2016, 43.5 million people worked in jobs that are subject to mandatory social insurance contributions. Compared to the second quarter of 2015, the employment rate increased considerably (by some 1.2%), a further proof of the country’s sound economic performance.
With some 775,000 jobs, automotive is one of the most important industries in Germany. The backbone of the industry is made up of six strong brands, namely Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, and the VW-owned marques Audi and Porsche, as well as Opel (General Motors). In 2014, the German carmakers, produced some 14.9 million cars, exporting approximately 77% of their total production. Apart from the automotive industry, plant and mechanical engineering, as well as the chemical industry and the electrical and electronic engin¬eering industry, are traditionally strong pillars of the German economy.

The most important economic centres in Germany, are the Ruhr Area, Greater Munich and Greater Stuttgart (high-tech, automotive construction), Rhine-Neckar (chemicals, IT), Frankfurt am Main (finance), Cologne (media) and Hamburg (port, aircraft construction), as well as the regions of Dresden, Jena, Leipzig, Leuna, and Berlin-Brandenburg.

German-made chemical, automotive, and machinery products, are in particularly high demand worldwide. Germany’s main trading partners include European countries such as France, the UK and the Netherlands, as well as international markets, such as the United States.

In July 2016, Germany exported goods with a total value of 96.4 billion euros, while the value of imported goods reached 76.9 billion euros, creating a foreign trade surplus, of 19.5 billion euros. Based on provisional data, provided by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), exports decreased by 10.0% and imports by 6.5% in July of 2016, compared with data of the same month, in 2015.

In 2015, motor vehicles and parts accounted for 18.9% of total exports, constituting Germany's main export product. Machinery (14.2%) and chemical products (9.0%) followed. Notably, the US was the most important trading partner of Germany, as goods with a total value of 173.2 billion euros were traded between the two countries. France and Netherlands with a foreign trade value of 170.1 and 167.6 billion euros respectively, followed.


July 2016

January to July 2016

Percentage change from


January to July 2015

billion euro


Total exports





Geographical Distribution

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Third countries










Total imports





Geographical Distribution

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Third countries






In July 2016, Germany exported goods with a total value of 56.3 billion euros to the Member States of the EU, while it imported goods valued 51.3 billion euros from European Union Member states. Exports of goods to countries outside the European Union (third countries), amounted to 40.1 billion euros, while imports from such countries, totalled 25.6 billion euros.


The White Paper on Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr is the key German policy document on security policy. It is a strategic review of the current state and future course of German security policy. It is thus the principal guideline for the security policy decisions and measures of our country. It establishes a framework in terms of concepts and content and provides starting points for strengthening the whole-of-government approach and developing further ministerial strategies.


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The Air Power Development Strategy is a document issued by the Federal Ministry of Defence (FMoD). It supplements the Aviation Strategy of the Federal Government in the field of military aviation. While the Aviation Strategy of the Federal Government underlines the importance of the German aviation industry for the economy, the Air Power Development Strategy focuses on fulfilling the mission of the Bundeswehr on the basis of political requirements and ensuring the performance of the resulting tasks and capability development in the third dimension by aircraft.


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