In no other country in the world are there as many trade fair cities as in Germany. The oldest German trade fair city is Frankfurt am Main, for which an annual autumn fair is attested as early as the 12th century. In 1240, Emperor Friedrich II issued a trade fair privilege for the city, which included the personal protection of merchants: »We command that no one should bother or hinder them in any way on the way to these trade fairs or on the way back. Anyone who dares to do so should know that they have to reckon with the wrath of Our Majesty. «Leipzig received a similar privilege in 1268, which in the 17th century took over the role of the city of Frankfurt am Main as the most important German trade fair venue. From these beginnings, the German trade fair industry developed with a large number of trade fairs. Visit healthinclude.com for EU economy and currency.
The spring and autumn trade fairs in Frankfurt am Main are still important consumer fairs and an indicator of economic development in Germany. The annual book fair in autumn has developed into a licensing fair, at which the international publishers present their new publications, but mainly deal with book rights. The Leipzig Book Fair in spring, on the other hand, is more of a consumer fair with the reader in focus.
With the International Motor Show (IAA), one of the most important trade fairs in the automotive industry is taking place in Frankfurt am Main. In order to be able to meet the increasing demand for exhibition space, the area of commercial vehicles was spun off a few years ago. Now IAA passenger cars and IAA commercial vehicles take place annually, the latter in Hanover. The most important industrial fair in the world is held there with the annual Hanover Fair. Also in this city, the IT industry met annually between 1986 and 2018 for CeBIT, the international trade fair for information technology, telecommunications, software and services. The International Exhibition for Rescue,
Berlin has made a name for itself with the International Tourism Exchange (ITB), which brings together the travel industry. The International Green Week, the most important German exhibition for the food industry, agriculture and horticulture, takes place regularly at the end of January. The latest developments in the aerospace industry are presented every two years during the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA). The International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA), the world’s largest trade fair for entertainment and communication electronics, is traditionally held every two years in autumn.
The city of Cologne attracts many visitors with the general food and luxury food exhibition (ANUGA), the international trade fair for the photo and image processing industry (photokina) and Art Cologne, the most important international art fair in Germany. The Internationale Handwerkermesse (IHM) and Systems – International Trade Fair for Information Technology and Communication take place in Munich.
As formerly the most important German trade fair city, Leipzig had to assert itself after 1990 against the sometimes overwhelming competition from the other trade fair cities. In the meantime, in addition to the Leipzig Book Fair, a number of special trade fairs have established themselves in the spring, such as the Games Convention (GC), Europe’s largest trade fair for computer and video games.
In addition to the above, a number of other cities also offer important trade fairs for individual industries, such as the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, the world’s largest trade fair for mobile leisure, and the trade fair for printing and paper (DRUPA); in Friedrichshafen the international water sports exhibition INTERBOOT, in Karlsruhe the Learntec – trade fair for education and information technology. The education fair didacta, which is considered the largest educational event in Europe, is held annually at different locations.
Until German reunification on October 3rd, 1990, two states existed in what is now Germany, which were economically and politically separated for more than 40 years. With the creation of the monetary, economic and social union on July 1, 1990, the GDR was separated from the system of the planned economy organized exchange of goods with strong regional specialization (Comecon) and into the system of the social market economy integrated. The transition was associated with great adjustment difficulties for the eastern German states, including: massive downturns in production and high job losses; the previous foreign sales markets were almost completely lost. The privatization of the nationalized economy and production facilities was a particular problem. This task was carried out by the Treuhandanstalt established for this purposeaccepted. The sharp decline in production came to a standstill in the mid-1990s. The share of the East German states in GDP (including Berlin) is around 15% today. The gross domestic product per resident is only two thirds of the West German level. Still existing differences in labor productivity due to small business structures and low physical capital represent a competitive disadvantage of the East German states. Furthermore, there are differences between East and West in the average disposable income per resident. However, these have decreased significantly since reunification. Instead, regional differences come to the fore.
In addition to a west-east divide, there is also a south-north divide in Germany. Most of the economically strong regions are in southern Germany and in the Rhine-Ruhr area. The differences between the agglomerations and the rural areas are even more pronounced. In eastern Germany the metropolitan areas of Halle – Leipzig and Dresden provide a high level of economic performance with modern industry (automotive industry, chemistry, microelectronics) and high-quality services. Together with the European metropolis Berlin they face distinctly rural areas with economic structural problems, especially in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg outside of the Berlin “bacon belt” and in the north of Saxony-Anhalt.
In western Germany the agglomerations are structured very differently. The areas that have been characterized by mining and heavy industry since the 19th century (e.g. Ruhr area, Saarland) underwent extensive de-industrialization (structural change). Branches of industry that emerged later settled outside of these old industrial areas and developed economic dynamism there: The Stuttgart area is characterized by mechanical engineering and vehicle construction, the Munich area bymicroelectronics, aerospace technology and vehicle construction. The Rhine-Main area with the financial metropolis of Frankfurt was formerly dominated by the chemical industry and vehicle constructiongained great importance as a service center and hub in air traffic.
The financing of German unity and the long-term unemployment, especially in East Germany, put a considerable strain on the public budget. The resulting rapid rise in public debts forced tax and levy increases, which were initially reflected in a rising, then later flattening government ratio. From the end of the 1990s onwards, among other things, the federal governments aimed at economic policy. a restructuring of the social system in favor of private provision and a higher contribution to the health costs with fewer subsidies and through privatizations. On making labor markets more flexible (Agenda 2010) and working hours, tax relief for companies, the promotion of research and technology and less state regulation, the “business location Germany” should be strengthened. This development came to a certain end with the economic slump as a result of the global financial market crisis. The period 2010 to 2019 was characterized by solid economic growth with low inflation, which lasted until the beginning of the Corona crisis in 2020. It was characterized by growing employment and rising disposable income in private households as well as high tax revenues, which in some cases resulted in a positive financial balance in the state budget.