Germany is the fourth largest market in the world and the largest economy in Europe. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters, with most of the country’s exports coming from its strong engineering sector, including cars, telecommunications and renewable energy technology. Germany is also strongly pro-European integration, being a founding member of the EU, G8 and G20.

Germany is the fourth largest market in the world and the largest economy in Europe. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters, with most of the country’s exports coming from its strong engineering sector, including cars, telecommunications and renewable energy technology. Germany is also strongly pro-European integration, being a founding member of the EU, G8 and G20.

Communication

Germany facts
Ethnic groups: German 91.5 percent, Turkish 2.4 percent, other 6.1 percent (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)

Language: German

Capital: Berlin

Currency: Euro

National Holidays: New Year's Day (Jan 1); Epiphany (Jan 6); Good Friday (Apr 22); Easter Monday (Apr 25); Labour Day (May 1); Mothers Day (May 8); Ascension Day (Jun 2)
Whit Monday (Jun 13); Corpus Christi (Jun 23); Assumption Day (Aug 15); German Unity Day (Oct 3); Day of Reformation (Oct 31); All Saints Day (Nov 1); Repentance Day (Nov 16); Christmas Day (Dec 25); St Stephens Day (Dec 26)

Business hours: Government Offices: Mondays to Fridays: 09.30 - 17:30; Offices: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 - 18:00; Banks: Mondays to Fridays 10:00 - 15:00 (on Saturdays until 13:00); Stores: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 - 18:30; Saturdays (shopping centers) 09:00 - 16:00

Many Germans speak very good English – however, it would be wise to check whether you will require a translator before arrival. Most Germans value truth over diplomacy, and therefore speak very directly. Individuals from many countries may see this as rude, but in Germany it is actually seen as a sign of respect. There is very little place for humour in business meetings.

Business structures

The majority of large German companies are overseen by one central senior management board known as Vorstand. They will have the final say on all decisions on policies that affect management, leaving senior figures in individual companies with less power than they might have in other countries.

Within individual companies there will be a very hierarchical, methodical approach.
Managers in Germany are expected to be extremely technically capable and have very strong leadership skills, as well as to delegate tasks to the most technically competent individuals. Staff will usually be given very clear, precise instructions. Managers rarely socialise with other staff members in
Germany.

Although women are increasingly seen in senior roles in Germany, this is still less common than in other parts of Europe.

Meetings

Types of meetings may vary in Germany. However, attendees should always be very well-prepared as any points they make must be well-researched. Larger meetings may consist of designated specialists from each area involved in a project or issue. People will be expected to comment on their individual area of expertise. Strong debate may occur, which can become heated.

Team work

People working in teams prefer to have very clearly defined roles. It may be difficult to manage teams made up of individuals from different departments as people like to concentrate on their own specialism.

Clothing

Smart dress is expected, and women should wear smart-casual clothing. However, some industries may be more casual so check before leaving.