Some products are in high demand because they are so special and advanced. Germany's medical equipment industry, for example, exports two thirds of its output. And machinery made in Germany is snapped up around the world.
The world is a complicated place, but the immutable laws of international trade have often served to simplify it. That appears to be changing fast, and Germany is in the firing line as risks of a global trade war rise.
For years, investment in digital infrastructure has been urged in Germany, with business leaders saying the country risks being left behind. But is Europe’s powerhouse really so unprepared for the digital revolution?
Chinese machine tool companies have boosted their exports to Russia, while other competitors have to adhere to the sanctions in place over Moscow's perceived role in the Ukraine conflict. Germany is losing out.
In a desperate bid to secure its future and reinvent itself, Europe's biggest digital tech expo is trying a new format, turning itself into a technology festival and organizing the event in early summer.
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