German exporters eye new record trade in 2013

German exporters eye new record trade in 2013

BERLIN - Germany, one of the world's top exporters, should post a new record for exports next year, driven by demand from Asia, the head of the BGA federation of exporters and wholesalers said on Sunday.

"We expect an increase of up to five per cent in exports to 1.158 trillion euros (S$1.87 trillion) in 2013 and a 5.5-per cent rise in imports to 980 billion euros," said BGA chief Anton Boerner in a new year's message.

Despite the eurozone crisis, Germany achieved record exports in 2012, added Boerner, amounting to 1.103 trillion euros, and a trade surplus of 174 billion euros.

Boerner said the bullish projection was based on "stability and no new volatility on the financial markets. Europe, the United States and China have a lot of homework to do in the new year in this respect," he said.

He said order books for next year were full "especially from the growth markets in Asia" and added that the low value of the euro on the currency markets was helping trade with the United States and Japan.

However, he cautioned that "the European debt crisis will be with us for a long time yet" and said he was especially concerned about what he said were "increasingly protectionist trends in several eastern European countries."

"By going alone down this protectionist road, these countries are harming not only our exports but also massively harming themselves," said Boerner.

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