Navigating the post-Brexit landscape: 10 good reasons why Irish exporters should set their sights on Germany

Navigating the post-Brexit landscape: 10 good reasons why Irish exporters should set their sights on Germany

Last week, the application deadline for Enterprise Ireland’s Post-Brexit Market Growth and Diversification grant, where Glocafy is one of the recommended agencies, was extended by a month to 30th June 2023. This is great news, as this grant provides great support for Irish companies negatively impacted by Brexit, helping them identify new market opportunities, develop a market entry plan, and most importantly, diversify and grow exports outside the UK.

Here at Glocafy we focus on helping companies grow in European, mostly Eurozone, markets, an area which, when Enterprise Ireland published its impressive worldwide 2022 results in April of this year, showed a record growth in Irish exports of 28%.

While many of the Eurozone markets are worthwhile considering, I’d like to use this blog article to remind companies of some of the benefits my native German market has to offer and why they might want to consider Germany as an export market – either as a new market and/or an alternative to the UK.

Here are my 10 top reasons why Irish (and of course other) exporters should consider the German market for their international expansion:

1. Market size and potential

Germany boasts the largest economy in Europe and the fourth-largest globally. Its population of over 83 million people represents a substantial consumer base, providing Irish companies with immense opportunities for growth and increased market share.

2. Strong purchasing power

Germans have a high standard of living, accompanied by robust purchasing power. The country’s affluent population is inclined towards quality products and has a strong willingness to pay for value (the so-called Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis), making it an attractive market for Irish exporters offering premium goods and services.

3. Strategic location

Germany’s central location within Europe makes it an ideal gateway for expanding businesses. With well-developed transport infrastructure, including an extensive road network, railways, and access to major ports, companies exporting to Germany can benefit from efficient logistics and distribution channels throughout the continent.

4. Technological tradition and ongoing advancements

Germany is renowned for its technological prowess, particularly in advanced manufacturing, engineering, and innovation-driven sectors. For example, on 2022, Germany was 8th in the Global Innovation Index. The country’s reputation for precision engineering, high-quality production, and advanced manufacturing technologies makes it an ideal market for Irish companies looking to export their goods. German consumers and businesses highly value quality, reliability, and innovation, which aligns well with the offerings of many Irish exporters.

5. Stable, business-friendly environment

Germany boasts a stable and favourable business environment, characterised by strong legal protections, reliable institutions, and transparent regulations. The country’s business-friendly policies, low corruption levels, and efficient bureaucratic processes make it an attractive destination for companies seeking to establish a presence in Europe.

6. Skilled workforce

Germany is known for its highly skilled and educated workforce. The country’s emphasis on vocational training and continuous professional development ensures that businesses have access to a talent pool with the expertise required to drive innovation, enhance productivity, and support business growth.

7. Established export culture

Germany has a long-standing tradition of importing goods from around the world, being 3rd largest exporter (2021). Irish companies can leverage this established export culture to position their products favourably, benefit from existing trade networks, and tap into the country’s strong demand for high-quality imports.

8. EU single market access

By expanding into Germany, Irish companies gain access to the broader European Union (EU) single market, which encompasses over 440 million consumers and 24 million companies. This offers significant advantages in terms of market reach, reduced trade barriers, lack of currency risk, and simplified regulatory requirements for conducting business across the EU.

9. Robust infrastructure

Germany is renowned for its exceptional infrastructure, including advanced telecommunications networks, well-developed logistics hubs, and efficient supply chain systems. This infrastructure facilitates seamless connectivity and ensures reliable and timely delivery of products, enabling Irish companies to meet customer demands efficiently and effectively.

10. Strong sustainability focus

Germany has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The country is at the forefront of environmental technologies and stringent environmental regulations. Irish companies with environmentally conscious products or services can align with this trend, appealing to German consumers and businesses who prioritize sustainability and fostering a positive brand image in the market.

In summary, the German market presents a wealth of opportunities for Irish and other non-German companies seeking to growth and expand their export activities. With its strong economy, affluent consumer base, strategic location, favourable business environment, skilled workforce, and access to the broader EU market, Germany offers a solid foundation for business growth and long-term success.

That said, like any export market, Germany is not without its challenges and in particular language and cultural differences, high levels of competition, price sensitivity (Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis) as well as different marketing and distribution methods and channels need to be taken into account and planned for.

By acknowledging and proactively addressing some of these differences and German market characteristics, companies can position themselves for success in the German market while minimizing potential challenges and maximizing opportunities for growth. Conducting thorough market research, seeking expert advice, and developing a robust market entry strategy, including and localised web presence, and digital marketing, can greatly support their export endeavours.

Contact us to find out more, how we can help you grow in the German market. Also, if you are an Irish company, check out the Enterprise Ireland Post-Brexit and Diversification Grant, where Glocafy is listed as one of the recommended agencies.

Susanne Dirks

Susanne Dirks is an internationalisation consultant, specialising in website localisation, international SEO and international digital marketing.