Access to Market

  • Export volume <strong>€58.6 billion</strong>

Business Location Advantage: Marketplace Hessen

While Hessen has diverse business connections all over the world, relationships with EU countries are particularly strong. Thanks to the free trade agreement within the EU, goods and services can be freely exchanged within the 28 member countries. This is a significant business advantage for Hessen.

Europa - strong Tradepartner

19 EU countries and nine other European countries are now using the Euro as their currency. Currency risks, which often hinder international trade, are no longer an issue.

The importance of this close relationship with the EU as trading partner is mirrored in the data. Two-thirds of all imports and exports involve the EU. About three-quarters of all direct foreign investment comes from the EU. About one-third of Hessen's direct investment flowed into EU countries.

High Exports, and Ever Higher Imports 

Exports from Hessen are in high demand. Goods valued at €58.6 billion were exported in 2016. Despite the difficult economic environment, Hessen was able to maintain the previous year's level. On the import side, total volume reached €86.2 billion, or an increase of 3.5 %. The most important export goods were chemical and pharmaceutical products with a total volume of €17.2 billion – more than one-quarter of Hessen’s total exports.

The other three-quarters are comprised of products from the areas of machine and vehicle manufacturing and electro-technical manufacturing. They are also the most important imports with a total value of a good €33 billion.

Foreign Trade with EU and USA Rank Highest, Trade with Asia Growing

12.1 % of Hessen’s exports were sent to the USA, whereas American imports totaled 9.1 %. Second place went to France with 7.7 %, followed by the UK with 6.9 % and the Netherlands with 6.6 %. International trade with Asia is constantly increasing and China is now Hessen’s second most important trade partner.

However, the majority of trade remains within Europe: in 2016 about 65 % of Hessen’s exports and more than 60 % of their imports were to/from European countries.


Hessen's strong trade figures

  • Major trade partners
    Exports 2016: USA (12.1 %), France (7.7 %), United Kingdom (6.9 %), Netherlands (6.6 %);
    Imports 2016: China (11.2 %), USA (9.1 %), Netherlands (6 %), France (5.6 %)


  • Important trading products
    Exports 2016: chemical and pharmaceutical products, machinery, vehicles and components
    Imports 2016: electro-technical products, chemical and pharmaceutical products, vehicles and components
  • Export volume €58.6 billion
  • Import volume €86.2 billion