Players and partners in the promotion of foreign trade and investment


Germany's system of external economic promotion is supported by Government and business alike. Germany’s missions abroad, its Chambers of Commerce Abroad and Germany Trade and Invest mbH form the three pillars of external economic promotion.

Three pillars for the promotion of foreign trade and investment

Germany’s system of foreign trade and investment promotion involves Government and business alike.

  • Germany’s missions abroad (embassies and consulates),

  • the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, Delegate Offices and Representations of German Industry and Commerce, and

  • Germany Trade & Invest mbH (GTAI)

Germany’s missions abroad assist and advise companies around the world. All three institutions are present in the world’s key markets.

The Federation and Länder, associations and societies supporting business

Germany’s efforts to promote foreign trade and investment rely on support from both the public and the private sector and can be grouped into three institutional pillars:

  • the Länder (federal states),
  • the regional initiatives of German business (can be contacted via the Federation of German Industries - www.bdi.de),
  • the country-specific associations (associations of businesses and institutions: German-African Business Association, Ibero-America Association, German Near and Middle East Association, Eastern and Central Europe Association, German Asia-Pacific Business Association, Australia and New Zealand Association), and
  • the German Centres for Industry and Trade in, e.g., New Delhi, Mexico City, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore.

The Federal Foreign Office and Germany’s missions abroad

Promoting foreign trade and investment is one of the Foreign Service’s main tasks. The most important function of Germany’s nearly 230 missions abroad is to represent German interests in the host country – including in the economic sphere. The missions abroad advise German companies and if necessary help them establish contacts; they support companies in dealing with government agencies to which they have particularly good access given their function; and they in general work to improve market access.

Promoting German economic interests is a priority task for the missions abroad. Each mission always has at least one point of contact for economic affairs. Many embassies also have staff from other Federal Ministries who can bring their knowledge to bear in fields such as the economy, agriculture, science, development cooperation, finance, and social affairs.

Companies can approach the missions directly with their request for assistance, or they may contact the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, Delegations and Representations of German Industry and Commerce

German Chambers of Commerce Abroad are the official missions of German industry abroad. They are voluntary associations of companies from Germany and from the respective host country. German Chambers of Commerce Abroad are recognised by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and are supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. They lobby in the interests of businesses from both Germany and the partner country and promote commercial activity in both directions. One of their most important tasks is promoting foreign trade and investment for the benefit of members and non‑members. Worldwide, German Chambers of Commerce Abroad have a membership of some 50,000 companies. Approximately 80% of these members are outside of Germany. In some countries that are still developing a market economy, or in which German Chambers of Commerce Abroad have not yet been fully established, delegations and representations of German business under the authority of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry are charged with promoting foreign trade and investment. The German Chambers of Commerce Abroad maintain 130 offices in 90 countries.

For more information, visit www.ahk.de

With the service “DEinternational”, the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad offer (for a fee) a wide range of standardised basic services, as well as country-specific specialised services. They thus assist German companies both in Germany and abroad with seeking concrete business opportunities and carrying out business. If there is adequate demand, the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad will bundle services for clients in several countries or regions.

For more information, visit www.deininternational.de

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI)

Germany Trade & Invest provides a wide range of business information, with the aim of facilitating German companies’ access to international markets. Its activities include promoting foreign trade, market observation, attracting investors and marketing and communication. GTAI also promotes the New Federal Länder and facilities cooperation with the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. It offers information on requests for tender, assessments of business sectors, country reports and market analyses, as well as import regulations and business tips. Germany Trade & Invest provides export-oriented enterprises in Germany with the information they need on different markets and sectors, projects/calls for tender, laws, and customs regulations – in printed form, through online databases and by answering individual questions. The Germany Trade & Invest website offers newsletters for different areas of interest and business sectors. The German business portal iXPOS contains an overview of all points of contact in the more than 70 organisations that assist German companies in doing business abroad.

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With a view to attracting investment, GTAI helps to acquire, and also advises, foreign investors. It helps potential investors find a suitable location in Germany and and/or select a specific site, and establishes contact with the Länder agencies which promote business and trade.

Germany Trade & Invest is a Federal Government agency and falls within the remit of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.

Additional content

Division 402
General questions relating to foreign trade, Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Fairs

Division 403
Economic Relations with Countries and Regions, country-specific questions

Tel.: 030-5000-3853 (Secretariat)


Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
(Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)
Scharnhornstrasse 34-37
10115 Berlin
(Postal address 11019 Berlin)
Tel.: + 49 (0) 30-18651-6141
Fax: +49 (0) 30-18651-5208

Global network with 120 sites in 80 countries: German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, Delegate Offices and Representations of German Industry and Commerce

Germany Trade and Invest’s mission is to promote Germany as a location for industrial and technological investments and to identify investors for the German market. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to tap into foreign markets.


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