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Emerging economies fuel decade of German export growth

Strong demand in countries such as China, India and Brazil has disproportionally contributed to booming German exports, a new study has found. But Germany's trade with emerging economies is not a one-way affair.

In 2011, German exports to the four biggest emerging economies Brazil, India, Russia and China generated seven times the revenue that they did 15 years ago. This growth was clearly outpacing exports to other countries, whose value rose just 2.5 times over that period, data published by the German Statistics Office (Destatis) on Wednesday showed.

Last year, those countries - also known as BRIC states - bought goods and services worth 121.2 billion euros ($152.1 billion) from Germany, compared with just 17.5 billion euros in 1996.

Destatis data showed that the four economies' share of Germany's total volume of exports had grown from 4.3 percent in 1996 to 11.4 percent 15 years later.

"Primarily, trade with China developed dynamically," Destatis said in a statement, as exports to the Asian country had "disproportionally" grown at a pace of 17.8 percent on average per year.

Exports to other BRIC states rose by an annual average of 11 percent over this period, meaning they still outpaced overall German export growth of 6.7 percent since 1996.

German goods highly demanded by those countries were machines and cars, Destatis said.

Import boom

Destatis noted that BRIC imports to Germany had also been booming in the past one and a half decades, soaring from 21.7 billion euros in 1996 to 138.8 billion euros last year.

As imports from the four emerging economies were rising twice as fast as those from other countries, BRIC boosted their share of the total volume of German imports from 6.1 percent to 15.4 percent over that period.

While Russia and Brazil were shipping mainly raw materials and agricultural commodities to Germany, Chinese exports largely consisted of computers, mobile phones and other consumer electronics goods, the German statisticians found.

From India, Germany imported mainly clothing.

uhe/msh (Reuters, dpa)

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