Germany Economic Conditions
The reunification of the two parts of the Germany, which represented the most important episode in the history of the country at the end of the 20th century, due to its high symbolic value and the need for the reconstitution of a national economic space, was experienced with difficulty from the German people; especially from that of the Western Länder, which found itself in a must manage a significantly larger territory than that of the previous forty years, including a sector characterized by a different and very backward economy. However, despite the considerable costs involved in reunification, Germany has maintained the position of primary economic power, revealed by its global GDP (3818 billion dollars in 2008), by the immense volume of business done with a very high number of states, from its position as a world exporter of industrial products, in particular mechanics, which makes use, among other things, of research and development activities that are among the most advanced in the world. The strong dependence on exports was, on the other hand, one of the reasons for the economic contraction that began in the second half of 2008 and linked to the global crisis, for which Germany entered recession in 2009,
The agricultural sector, despite the very modest share of the population absorbed and the insignificant contribution to GDP (0.9% in 2008), is technically very advanced, characterized by a very high yield, therefore, despite the drastic reduction of the cultivated area, continues to ensure Germany a respectable place for numerous agricultural and livestock products which, in relation to some items of particular importance (wheat, potatoes, barley, sugar beet, pigs), are at the top of the world rankings. However, strong differences remain between the two parts of the country and innovative interventions are needed in some Länder oriental, especially in that of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, whose agricultural vocation had been compressed by a policy of industrialization that no longer has a raison d’etre.
The industrial sector absorbs about 30% of the workforce. The industrial organization has profoundly changed, as have profound changes in the localization and territorial distribution of industries. The most striking is that which occurred in the Ruhr basin, for over a century the most significant industrial region in Europe and a symbol of German industry, where traditional coal mining ceased after a long decline and was drastically reduced. the steel industry. Particularly noteworthy, and somewhat traumatic (because it testifies to the problems that arose with reunification, as well as the cause of unemployment and consequent internal migratory flows), was the closure of several thousand factories in the Länderoriental. The relocation has resulted in a ‘relocation’ in some cases in foreign countries (such as in Poland, where significant savings are made in labor costs), more often in other areas of the State which, above all for socio-cultural characteristics (such as innovative capacity), are in favor of new industrial models, based mostly on the medium-small size of companies and on the adoption of highly advanced technologies.
The sector, which occupies a large part of the active population and contributes 69% to the national GDP (in 2008), is divided into a wide range of activities, among which those that are much more advanced than the traditional tertiary sector to be indicated rather as quaternary emerge: generically executive activities (top political management, high finance, high scientific research) which are distinguished by their rarity and their concentration in the urban environment. In particular, scientific-technical research has reached very high levels, also favored by the receptivity towards innovations.
A peculiar characteristic of Germany’s economic-territorial organization is the tendency to integrate with other countries. Regardless of membership of the European Union and the role it plays there, Germany has experimented with a series of agreements between its own regions and regions of neighboring states, giving rise to cross-border economic spaces.
The urban network is grafted onto an equally efficient network of communications and material and immaterial transport. Material transport makes use of the great waterway channel that connects the Main with the Danube (and, ultimately, the North Sea with the Black Sea), of fundamental importance for trade with central-eastern Europe, and the construction of high-speed railways, both in the NS and OE direction. In 2006 the railway network measured 38,206 km, of which 19,857 were electrified; the road one stood at 231,480 km, of which 12,363 of motorways, for a fleet of approximately 51 million vehicles; of these, 46.5 million cars (approximately one for every two residents).
The main airport continues to be the intercontinental airport of Frankfurt am Main ; maximum ports remain those of Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven of Bremen. The efficiency of communication routes and forms of transport contributed to the growing development of tourism (arrivals reached 23,569,000 in 2006).