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Markets & Economy
How is mechanical engineering developing in the age of global value chains? Where do your competitors come from? What support is available for market development? What regulations must be observed when exporting? What needs to be considered when deploying employees and regarding visas for foreign guests? Together we will find answers to your questions.

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The Economics and Statistics department provides you with all industry-relevant economic and market information. Benefit from our expertise and use our statistics as a basis for smart business decisions.

Successful abroad - Export topics

VDMA Foreign Trade supports you and your export business. We prepare topics relevant to mechanical engineering for you: up-to-date and easy to understand.

Welcome to VDMA Foreign Trade!

The VDMA Foreign Trade team supports VDMA member companies in the internationalisation of mechanical and plant engineering. We provide you with practical support in all matters relating to foreign business.

VDMA flash survey on material bottlenecks

The situation in the supply chains has once again worsened. Hardly any companies in the machinery and plant engineering sector expect the situation to ease any time soon. More and more companies are changing their procurement strategies and placing a stronger focus on security of supply.

Climate club and infrastructure initiative are just the beginning

The G7 summit showed that the Western industrialized nations want to act together on crucial issues. It is good that the G7 is pushing ahead with the establishment of an international climate club and wants to offer an alternative to the Chinese New Silk Road.

Supply chains in the mechanical engineering industry stretched to breaking point

The production and delivery capabilities of the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany are being increasingly hampered by material bottlenecks and a shortage of skilled workers. According to the VDMA flash survey, 87 percent of companies currently see their supply chains as noticeably or seriously impaired. 78 percent cite a noticeable or severe shortage of personnel.

In choppy waters

Global machinery turnover is expected to grow by 4 percent in real terms in 2022. However, a resurgence of the corona pandemic could limit growth to 2 percent. The outlook for 2023 offers a spectrum ranging from growth to stagnation.

Finally, the German government wants to ratify CETA!

Commenting on the agreement reached by the government parliament groups of the SPD, Greens and FDP on a ratification law for the CETA free trade agreement, Ulrich Ackermann, head of the foreign trade department at VDMA, says:

Foreign Trade Newsletter Visas and Travel Security

Up-to-date information and event tips in the VDMA Foreign Trade newsletter.

AHK Industrial Suppliers Forum

The AHK Industrial Suppliers Forum is an online platform for the mediation of business contacts in the industrial sector.

Bulgaria scores with low wages and EU funding

Bulgaria is strategically located and provides quick access to markets in Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and the CIS countries.

More and more hurdles and protective walls hamper European machinery exports

On behalf of VDMA, the Global Trade Allert Team of the University of St. Gallen has investigated the impact of protectionism on European machinery exports. Around 80% of EU machinery exports are hampered by government trade intervention.

Reporting work assignments in Finland - Is it really that burdensome?

Petra Steffen from the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Helsinki explained exactly what needs to be considered when reporting work assignments in Finland at the VDMA Web Conference on June 14, 2022.

Protectionism rising worldwide, harming global trade

Free trade is increasingly hampered worldwide by government protectionist measures; 80 percent of all European mechanical engineering exports are affected. This makes new free trade agreements between the EU and, for example, the Mercosur states or India all the more important.

Business opportunities in Southeastern Europe

Southeastern Europe encompasses many different markets - VDMA Foreign Trade provides information

"Reduction of industrial gas consumption must be well organized!".

In view of falling Russian gas supplies, plans by Economics and Climate Minister Habeck to organize reduced gas consumption now are the right thing to do. The VDMA supports the plan to stimulate reduced gas consumption in industry by using tenders.

Finally dismantle trade barriers between the EU and India

It is high time to restart free trade negotiations with India. This opens up the opportunity to dismantle numerous trade barriers on the subcontinent. But the EU must also make concessions to India in the negotiations.

"This is mega convenient for us"

Whenever the opportunity arises at trade fairs abroad, Staiger GmbH tries to participate in the German Pavillion. CEO Marc Staiger has several reasons for this, as he reveals in an interview - and a suggestion for improvement.

China weakens, exports to the USA continue to rise

Machinery exports from Germany in April were down 4.3 percent year-on-year in nominal terms and as much as 10.3 percent in price-adjusted terms.

Petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia

A trip to Saudi Arabia will take place from October 09-13. Special focus will be on the decarbonization of the Saudi petrochemical industry and the conversion to hydrogen. For this purpose, the establishment of business contacts with selected local business partners will be facilitated. Deadline for registration is July 06, 2022.

The WTO must be revived

The upcoming WTO ministerial conference in Geneva must lead to a revival of multilateralism within the World Trade Organization. Otherwise, the WTO is in danger of sinking into irrelevance.

KIOGE 28 - 30 September 2022, Almaty

KIOGE will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from September 28 to 30, 2022. The registration period for the German joint company stand runs until June 24, 2022.

Mechanical engineering at forefront with environmental innovations

27 percent of mechanical engineering companies have recently launched innovations that make a significant contribution to reducing the overall CO2 footprint.

We need Free Trade Agreements!

The Trade Council will discuss the status of bilateral EU trade negotiations on 3 June 2022. The export-oriented machinery sector needs EU trade agreements, which also enter into force.

Clear skid marks

In April, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine - together with the continuing serious supply chain problems - again led to a noticeable decline in incoming orders in the machinery and plant engineering sector. Orders fell short of the previous year's level by 7 per cent in real terms.

Economic bulletin international

Despite a wide range of pressures, the sentiment in mechanical engineering companies is good. A lack of input products is hampering the production process. China's zero-covid strategy has again exacerbated the situation.

Mechanical engineering: Number of job advertisements at record level

The mechanical engineering industry is looking for employees. In fact, the number of job ads is now at record levels. The indicators all speak the same language and the shortages are getting worse.

OGA Malaysia 2022 from 13 - 15 September in Kuala Lumpur

Due to the pandemic, the exhibition date has been changed again from December 2021 to September 2022. Interested parties can register for the company joint booth until June 17.

"There will be one or the other hiccup"

After a long lull, the trade show business has been picking up again for a few months. So: everything as usual? Interview with VDMA expert Dr. Alexander Koldau on the start of the trade fair and imponderables that exhibitors should be prepared for.

Turning point for the Russian market

The Russian war of aggression is largely bringing the close relations of European mechanical engineering with Russian industry to a standstill. This is shown by the results of the current VDMA survey on business with Russia.

Mechanical engineering industry defies considerable pressure

The recovery in the mechanical engineering sector will continue in 2022 at a slower pace - provided there is no abrupt interruption in energy supplies. The Ukraine war and supply chain problems are weighing on companies, which is why the VDMA is reducing its production forecast for 2022 to plus 1 percent.

Transatlantic Summit Signals Progress on Conformity Assessment

The Biden Administration has signaled that it wants to restart negotiations with the European Union on eliminating a long-standing trade barrier impacting the mechanical-engineering industry.

Africa - Market in focus: Kenya

Kenya ranks among the top three economies in sub-Saharan Africa, far behind Nigeria and South Africa, with a GDP of $110 billion (2021).

Turning point in the Russian business - what's next?

On June 15, the VDMA invites you to Frankfurt for an interactive exchange on the situation of business in Russia. The event will feature varied expert presentations on Russia's political and economic prospects.

Egypt expands electronic customs system

Egyptian Customs is extending the ACI electronic customs system to air cargo shipments.

"Free trade can bring Africa and EU together"

European machine technology can play an important role in helping African countries advance economically - especially in the fight against climate change. Chancellor Scholz's trip to Senegal, Niger and South Africa should also be used to promote free trade between the EU and Africa.

"Buy America" Requirements for Infrastructure Projects Enter into Force

Joe Biden's Infrastructure Law provides $550 billion USD in new funding over the next five years for public-works projects. At the same time, the law requires that all manufactured products for such projects be made in on U.S. soil, with 55 percent local content. The new rule entered into force on May 14, 2022.

High demand for personnel and good job prospects in mechanical engineering

The majority of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are planning to increase their core workforce despite the current crises. Most companies indicate that this will also be the case in the coming years. However, the declining quality of applications is a cause for concern.

New Covid entry rules in Austria

The Austrian Federal Government now presented a new COVID 19 entry regulation: Entry from countries with a sufficiently low incidence will be possible again without quarantine as of May 19. The "3-G rules" as well as the online registration have to be observed.

Ukraine war slows down machinery exports

The war in Ukraine has put a noticeable damper on the export-oriented machinery and plant engineering sector. In the first quarter of 2022, exports increased by just 0.4 percent year-on-year, while March saw a 6.2 percent drop in exports.

EU and US need to dismantle trade barriers

The EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) must help make supply chains more resilient and reduce trade barriers. VDMA and U.S. electrical association NEMA jointly call on TTC officials to move forward with a trade agreement.

VDMA and NEMA Jointly Call for Progress on Transatlantic Trade

VDMA and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association are jointly urging the U.S.-E.U. Trade and Technology Council to reach an agreement on the mutual recognition of conformity assessment results for the machinery industry.

New document codes for exports to Russia

The EU Commission has published new codes for exports to Russia, which are required for the declaration of certain declarations by the exporter in coded form.

Putin orders economic retaliatory measures

By decree, President Putin orders a comprehensive business ban on Russian authorities, legal entities and individuals. Who will be the target of this ban is not yet known.

South Africa plans to centralize review of long-term visas

The new processes are expected to significantly lengthen processing.

In the event of a crisis: employee protection for projects abroad

Member companies examine their own crisis management structures within the company using practical examples.

EU Russia Sanctions - Basic Information

The EU's Russia sanctions are complex. Here are some basic tips on how to navigate the regulations semi-efficiently.

Lockdowns in China leave deep traces

The Corona-related lockdowns and restrictions in China are leaving deep scars on local machinery and plant manufacturers. Only a minority of companies currently anticipate an improvement in the business situation in the coming six months.

Taiwan seeks independence from China

Taiwan has come through the pandemic well. The country is trying to reduce its dependence on China and is trying to attract investments back to Taiwan.

EU reporting requirements: User Experience Workshop on the Electronic Form

EU Commission pushes ahead with uniform electronic reporting form. In a user experience workshop, companies - including a VDMA member - were able to contribute requirements to the process.

Expert topics

VDMA Infoportal Ukraine War
The machinery and plant engineering sector condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. The VDMA will support its member companies in word and deed in order to master the many challenges that are now arising.
Economic Development & Business Situation
The economic cycle plays a significant role in almost every area of the economy. After all, it plays a key role in determining the well-being of companies and employees. In fact, it is particularly relevant in the mechanical engineering sector. After all, it plays a key role in determining the well-being of companies and employees in the mechanical engineering sector.
Export Topics
The VDMA provides support on the most important export-related issues, such as customs, export financing and export control. We also monitor and accompany developments in global trade policy.
Statistics database
The VDMA statistics database offers all VDMA member companies fast and convenient access to economic information on all aspects of mechanical engineering. The use of the VDMA Order Intake and Sales Statistics Germany is exclusively reserved for those companies that participate in the survey.
Market development
The engineering markets are constantly on the move worldwide. It is difficult to keep track of everything. The VDMA therefore provides information on current developments as well as on interesting events and trade fairs, advises its members and offers a comprehensive network for market entry analyses.
Market observation & information
Comprehensive information on markets is essential for sustainably and successfully conducting foreign trade. A broad collection of data is just as important as the experience gained through on-site activities, which benefits all members thanks to the VDMA's well established network.
International Business Travel
Globalization necessitates travel throughout the life cycle of a machine: Sales, commissioning, assembly and maintenance. For corporate travel management, this poses an organizational challenge: Do I need a visa, and if so, which type? Which documentation is required? Which regulations apply when posting workers within the EU?
Work assignments in Europe
Regarding work assignments in Europe, three completely different topics - "reporting requirements", "social law: A1 certificate" and "labor law: posting of workers directive" - are increasingly moving into the spotlight.

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Auf den Punkt Zitat Markets and Economy

"You can see how much the war changed everything by the fact that four out of five companies said their business prospects with Russia were still good or satisfactory before the invasion."

Karl Haeusgen, VDMA President

Auf den Punkt Zahl Markets and Economy



of companies in the mechanical engineering sector report noticeable or serious disruptions in their supply chains.

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Märkte und Konjunktur

Employment of workers from non-EU/EEA countries
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Further VDMA Services


VDMA flash survey on material bottlenecks
The situation in the supply chains has once again worsened. Hardly any companies in the machinery and plant engineering sector expect the situation to ease any time soon. More and more companies are changing their procurement strategies and placing a stronger focus on security of supply.
Download: Mechanical engineering in figures and images 2022
Our brochure "Mechanical Engineering in Figures and Pictures 2022" provides a comprehensive overview of all major figures and statistics relating to the mechanical engineering industry.


Economic bulletin international
Our monthly bulletin provides periodic updates on economic trends in the international mechanical engineering sector.


Germany Economic Bulletin
Data on the economic situation of the German mechanical and plant engineering industry in the current economic context
VDMA Trade Fair Calendar 2022
With the trade fair calendar, we have been offering our members an orientation guide to the global range of trade fairs relevant to mechanical engineering worldwide for many years.


Germany Incoming orders
The monthly figures for incoming orders in the German mechanical engineering industry
Database of technical regulations
The VDMA Specifications reflect the technical specifications of the German mechanical engineering industry. The directory contains all VDMA Specifications that are currently valid and in preparation.
VDMA Foreign offices
Here you will find links and further information on the VDMA liaison offices located in particularly important foreign markets
Trade fair calendar and database
All trade fairs and dates at a glance: Download our trade fair database and the current trade fair calendar for 2021 here.


Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Foreign Trade

The Foreign Trade Committee exchanges views on professional issues and tasks relating to exports. The members represent a cross-section of the mechanical engineering industry. They are part of the company's management or play a key role in exports. The Foreign Trade Committee mainly deals with market strategies for individual countries and regions as well as export issues such as trade policy and foreign trade policy.




Rainer Hundsdörfer

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Macroeconomic Issues

The regular, practical assessment of the international economic situation of the mechanical engineering industry in the committee is an indispensable contribution to the VDMA's economic analysis, including short-term forecasts. In addition, the committee members support the VDMA's economic policy commitment by interpreting and discussing the content of economic developments and interrelationships in a political context.



Dipl.-Kfm. Bodo Finger

Maschinenfabrik Mönninghoff

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,400 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

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The VDMA is the most important voice of the mechanical and plant engineering industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

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More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.