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German exporters upbeat despite market volatility

German exporters are expecting another boom in their shipments abroad this year despite a number of global market uncertainties. And they don't think WV's pollution scandal will be much of a party pooper.

Sluggish growth prospects in many parts of the world aren't discouraging German exporters, who on Tuesday said they were expecting to ship more goods abroad in 2015 than ever before.

The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) told reporters in Berlin exports could pick up by as much as 6 percent this year to total 1.2 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion), thus revising an earlier estimate of just 4.5 percent for the whole of 2015.

BGA officials added that imports were likely to rise by 4 percent in the same period, reaching 947 billion euros.

This would mean that both the export and import figures would mark new all-time records, BGA President Anton Börner commented.

Emerging economies in focus

He noted that the pickup would most likely continue beyond 2015 as exporters relied on their traditional core markets within the European Union and the US.

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The VW scandal and "Made in Germany”

"I see no long-term negative impact on exports from Volkswagen's cheating scandal," Börner said. "Luckily, the German economy is not just made up of one big auto maker, but a magnitude of small and medium-sized companies, which are not affected by that scandal."

He warned, though, that in order to keep the effect of the scam limited, VW needed to fully clear up the scandal as quickly as possible.

Börner said the optimistic outlook overall did not mean he was ignorant of potential stumbling blocks. Among other things, he voiced concern at the economic slowdown in China and the protracted standoff between the West and Russia over the latter's perceived role in the Ukraine conflict.

The BGA was also worried about developments in Arab nations which had traditionally been key markets for German exporters. But growing security risks and a continuously low oil price had taken their toll, Börner said.

hg/pad (Reuters, dpa)

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