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Going International 2021

Experiences and Perspectives of German Business abroad Results of the 2021 IHK Business Survey
Hamburger Hafen für Going International 2020

© Jan-Otto / E+ / Getty Images

Even before the Corona crisis, global trade conflicts, new customs duties and trade barriers determined the reality of foreign-oriented companies in Germany: This is shown by the "Going International" 2021 survey, which collected responses from around 2,500 companies at the beginning of the year.

The global business outlook of internationally active German companies is negative overall. Only 17 percent expect better foreign business in 2021. Expectations for international business in Europe and China are predominantly positive. In contrast, German companies see poor business prospects especially in the developing and emerging countries as well as in the United Kingdom.

The Coronavirus pandemic has numerous implications for businesses: 77 percent are affected by travel restrictions. The cancellation of trade fairs and events, less investment and lower de-mand are further consequences for business.

40 percent of foreign-active companies report problems in their supply chains due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is particularly the case in the Eurozone, in trade with China and with the UK.

Many companies are therefore looking for new suppliers or increasing their stock levels. Even independent of the coronavirus pandemic, almost half of the companies report new trade barriers in their international business - a very high figure over time.

Would you like to recieve a full version of our survey "Going International"? Please send your request via e-mail to


Porträtfoto Carolin Herweg
Carolin Herweg Director International Economy