Why is Germany the engine of Europe?

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990, the country reinforced its economic strength, becoming perhaps the most successful economy in the world. Every country, even the most developed nations in the world (including all the other largest economies such as the US, Britain, China, France, India, Japan and Brazil), has something to learn from the German economic miracle. However, talking about success, we should mention that the advantages of Germany extend far beyond the world of economy.

Germany is successful in the developing and promoting of its own incredible culture and art. It is also known for its great achievements in sports as well as for its friendly relations with countries from all around the world.

Let’s take a look at a short list of factors that help Germany to become one of the world’s great powers of the 21st century.

1. Germany has the largest economy in Europe, larger than those of Britain, France, Italy, Spain or Russia. According to 2013 World Bank data, the GDP of Germany had amounted to the impressive $ 3,730,261 million.

For comparison, this is more than the GDP of Australia ($ 1,560,372 million) and the Russian Federation ($ 2,096,777 million) together!

The common expectations for the next few years are even more stunning and show that the difference will deepen even more.

2. Since it overtook the United States in 2013, Germany is today the second largest exporter of goods and services in the world after China, reaching a historic peak in exports. The 2014 data shows that the biggest share belongs to the automotive industry.

Reichstag

Reichstag by gravitat-OFF

3. Of the total exports of the European Union, which amounts to $ 2,173,000,000,000 in 2012, more than a half, or about $ 1,493,000,000,000 belongs to Germany (data for Germany are from 2013).

4. When it comes to positive balance of trade, also known as trade surplus, Germany ranks first in the world in 2014, leading by a wide margin even countries such as China and Saudi Arabia.

This is because Germany produces virtually everything a country needs. For this reason, the import of goods and services in the European state is quite low in comparison with the export.

What Germany usually imports is mostly basic raw materials needed for its highly developed industry.

5. Over the last few years Germany is considered the second most influential and powerful country in the world after the US.

While most countries usually prefer to keep a distance and avoid involvement in world political and other conflicts, Germany leads active dialogue to solve a number of world problems.

Talking about this country, journalists often use the term “soft power” as the policy of Germany relies on negotiations, considering the mutual cooperation much more effective than the use of military force.

frankfurt from above

Frankfurt from above by Axel Schwenke

6. When it comes to the size of the national economy, Germany is the fourth most powerful country in the world after the US, China and Japan.

This is quite an impressive achievement given the fact that the population of Germany is “only” 80.6 million people compared with 127 million people in Japan, 319 million in US and 1.357 billion in China.

7. Although Germany has never had the ambition to become a military superpower, its army is the seventh most powerful in the world.

The country is considered to have great military potential, and here we should mention its highly developed manufacturing and high-technology industry.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2014 Germany was the 5th largest arms exporter in the world after USA, Russia, China and France.

In fact, it is interesting to note that nowadays Germany produces about 10% of all arms in the world.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate by Bill Tyne

8. According to research conducted by Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index in 2014 among 20 000 people across 20 countries, Germany is the most popular country in the world.

To a large extent Germany owes its good reputation to the numerous attempts to resolve conflicts and humanitarian crises in different parts of the world.

Also, we cannot miss the fact that the country is well known for its hospitality and tolerance as well as for the fact the Germans treat very respectfully all the foreigners living in their country.

9. Germany is the third most innovative country in the world in 2014, according to Bloomberg. Before Germany are South Korea and Japan, which are traditionally considered among the most technologically advanced nations.

10. The country is considered one of the leaders in the world of sport. When it comes to football, Germany has won the World Cup a few times previously, respectively, in 1954, 1974, 1990 and in 2014.

When it comes to professional football clubs Germany has also some quite impressive achievements.

For example, teams such as Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are among the best in the world. Germany has achieved similar results in most other sports.

11. Germany is among the most prepared countries in the world to host major sporting events.

For example, the country has hosted the Olympics twice before, respectively, in 1936 in Berlin and in 1972 in Munich. Also, Germany has hosted two World Cup championships – in 1974 and in 2006.

autobahn a2

Autobahn A2 by Axel Schwenke

12. The famous German automaker Volkswagen is the largest car manufacturer in the world. In 2012, the company produced 8,576,964 vehicles.

13. Germany is the second largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil (coffee is the second most popular beverage in the world after tea). In fact, this is very interesting considering that Germany does not really grow its own coffee beans.

14. The German capital Berlin is considered the world capital of culture. Since the city is well known for its great variety of events, this is one of the very few places in the world that always offer numerous things to see and do.

15. Germany is one of the founders of the European Union. Undoubtedly, today the country has a leading role in the enlargement of the union as well as in its foreign policy.

As the largest economic and political power on the continent, the country often plays the role of the leader when it comes to negotiations on important issues, both within the EU and beyond.

16. German is the second most important language after English when it comes to increasing your chance of finding a well-paid job. The main reason is the importance of Germany in the international trade of goods and services.

BMW Tower, Munchen

BMW Tower, Munchen by Ashwin Chandrasekaran

17. Germany is among the three most important educational centers in the world, together with the US and Great Britain.

30% of the foreign students come from Asian countries, including some of the most dynamic economies such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

18. The German financial capital Frankfurt is the fourth most important financial center in the world, and according to many is considered the most promising city on the planet.

Moreover, Frankfurt is considered the greenest as well as the most modern ecological city in the world. On the territory of Frankfurt there are more than 50 city parks and gardens.

Also, in the outskirts of the city is located one of the largest airports in the world.

19. Germany is the second most attractive and popular country for immigration in the world after the US. In this respect, the country is ahead even from countries such as Canada, Britain and Australia.

city of frankfurt

City of Frankfurt by David Schiersner

20. Germany is unique with the fact that three of the ten world’s most attractive cities to live in are located in the country.

These are the cities of Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. The other seven cities are located in Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland.

21. Germany is blessed with the fact that its territory is entirely very good and suitable for living.

Schweriner Schloss

Schweriner Schloss by Noé Alfaro

There are neither extreme temperatures, nor covered by deserts areas. In fact, the entire territory of the country is favorable for the development of agriculture, infrastructure, transport links and urban areas.

22. Germany is one of the few countries in the world that are completely surrounded by rich neighbors.

Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark – they all have one thing in common and that’s the fact that they are all developed and rich countries.