Study: German-American Business Remains Stable Despite Corona

November 2021

Economic relations between the United States and Germany defied various disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, suffered only a slight 1.4 percent decline in turnover. That’s according to the annual study of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany).

Leading the list of the top 50 US companies in Germany was Amazon, with revenues of EUR 25.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 30.6 percent. It also invested near EUR 2 billion, as American FDI in Germany rose by 7.3 percent. All told, US companies did EUR 189 billion in business in Germany.

“We see a continuous positive development in terms of transatlantic business relations,” said AmCham Germany President Simone Menne at the press conference introducing the study. “The partnership is very stable and continues across elections in both countries.”

American companies are also optimistic about the economic recovery in 2021 and beyond. As of the spring of this year, 73 percent of US companies expected revenues to increase.

The big winners in terms of sectors were services and trade and pharmaceuticals.  Menne singled out one prominent German-American collaboration as a potential model for others.

“BioNTech and Pfizer is an excellent example of a small innovative company joining a much larger one to scale up,” said Menne. “This could be an excellent option for other things, for instance, the production of green steel.”

One general trend noted by the study was that German environmental products were in great demand in the US, while American companies had impressive success with digital solutions in Germany. Generally, American firms said that they hoped Germany would improve its digital infrastructure, particularly when the new national government is formed.

“The expectation is that Germany’s public administration becomes digital,” Menne said. “Unified standards for data exchange and legal security are very important. There needs to be a transatlantic digital economic sphere. These expectations are directed at private sector companies but also at the German government.”

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) CEO Robert Hermann said there was a lot to like about the report.

“The biggest takeaway is the tremendous stability of US-German economic relations even amidst a global crisis,” Hermann says. “The report highlights things that can be improved in the future but also underscores the strength of American and German business when the two sides work together. We hope very much that US companies continue to regard Germany as such a favorable location and are here to support American firms that want to grow their business by expanding to the heart of Europe.”

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