Despite the Eurozone crisis, Scotland's trade with Germany is set for future growth. Germany is the largest and most powerful economy in Europe and is Europe's largest domestic market.
In 2010, Scotland exported goods and services to Germany worth £1.265 billion.
It's an easy market to do business in according to Sarah Lord, Scottish Development International's Regional Manager for Central Europe based in Dusseldorf. "Any barriers to trade are very well documented and very clear; there are no hidden rules and regulations and when compared with a market like Russia, there are huge differences in transparency and ease of doing business".
"Germans do however adopt a degree of formality in business which sometimes comes as a bit of a surprise to Scottish colleagues used to a more relaxed business culture.
"We advise companies wanting to do business there to either work with an agent or set up a presence there, as German companies are different in their employment structures", adds Sarah.
Interest from Scottish companies is growing, according to Sarah. "Last year, Scottish Development International dealt with 150 trade-related queries ranging from initial enquiries to very detailed market research to help with specific product opportunities."
- Renewable energy
- Life sciences and biotechnology
- Financial and business services
- Food and drink
- ICT electronics technologies and software
Scottish Development International also helps support German companies looking for investment opportunities in Scotland, including:
- Business development support
- Marketing and research assistance
- PR services
- Investment advice
- Specialised training
Over the last four years, 20 percent of European Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Scotland has come from Germany with a capital expenditure of £145 million.
More than 100 German companies already have offices in Scotland. In May 2012, Europe's largest contract research organisation Fraunhofer chose Glasgow's £9 million laser centre for its UK headquarters.
Read the full article for further insights on trade opportunities with Germany (pages 12-13)
Source: Reproduced with the permission of The Herald, Glasgow © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.
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