Foreign trade in high-tech products loses momentum

According to BITKOM, the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media, foreign trade in communications and information technology was less intensive in the first quarter of 2008. The volume of exports decreased by 11.5% to 10.1 billion Euros as compared to the first quarter in 2007. At the same time imports shrank by 5.1% to 12.8 billion Euros.

“Apart from consumer electronics foreign trade in all other high tech product groups is considerably losing momentum“, said BITKOM chairman Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer at the presentation of business figures in Berlin.

According to BITKOM, exports of consumer electronics increased by 1% in the first quarter to a record value of 2.4 billion Euros. Since the year 2000 exports of tv sets, video technology and cameras have more than doubled. Exports of communications technology, on the other hand, fell by 34% as compared to the first quarter last year totalling 1.7 billion Euros. Exports of information technology decreased by 6.8% and reached 5.9 billion Euros.

Germany’s high-tech products are mainly exported to European countries. Most important buyers in the first quarter 2008 were Great Britain (903 million Euros) and France (836 million Euros). Quite surprisingly the third most important client is Poland which imported 707 million Euros worth of German high-tech products. This corresponds to an increase by almost 58% in comparison to the first quarter 2007.

Most high-tech imports to Germany come from Asia. By far the most important exporting to Germany country is China from which Germany bought goods worth almost 4 billion Euros in the first quarter. The second and third most important exporting countries are Japan and the USA with 1.4 billion Euros and 763 million Euros respectively. GERMAN