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.
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.
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.