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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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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.

We guide you through the data jungle

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 Business Climate Survey in the BRIC Countries - 2nd Half Year 2022

In Brazil and India, domestic demand is mainly responsible for the good business situation and the positive outlook. In China, foreign demand was assessed more favorably. This is the result of the current VDMA business climate survey in these foreign markets. In addition, members were asked about business in Russia in a further survey.

VDMA Recommendations for Ministerial Meeting of the EU-USA Trade and Technology Council

It's time for tangible progress that would lead to an EU-U.S. Mutual Recognition Agreement on conformity assessment.

Kazakhstan to develop southern corridor

Kazakhstan wants to diversify export and transit routes in cooperation with its neighboring countries to become less dependent on Russia.

People in Ukraine need our help

Ongoing Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure and other civilian targets are causing a serious humanitarian emergency in all parts of Ukraine.

Avoid Russia travel

Travel to Russia is possible, but increasingly security considerations must be taken into account.

Finally, the German Federal Parliament has also ratified CETA!

At last, the German Federal Parliament has also ratified the EU free trade agreement with Canada (CETA). Germany should now press for the agreements with Mercosur, Mexico and Chile to also be signed quickly and then ratified.

VDMA Russia ends activity

The management of VDMA Services GmbH will close the office of VDMA Russ Service OOO in Moscow on December 31, 2022, thus completely terminating the operational activities of the office.

Reluctance to make new investments

Following two months of unexpected growth in order books (August and September), orders in the machinery and plant engineering sector were down 12 percent year-on-year in real terms in October.

Robust despite headwind

Global turnover growth in the machinery industry is expected to reach 2 percent in real terms in 2022. It is expected to continue at the same pace in the coming year. However, the downside risks currently predominate.

ASEAN - Opportunities and Challenges

The ASEAN countries are a heterogeneous and dynamic economic area, which offers potential for the NRW mechanical engineering industry.

Industrial structures and production of goods

VDMA regularly generates data sheets with important indicators for its members. Raw data from various sources are processed for these. The latest data are provdided in our statistics database.

Understanding Italian business partners - harder than you think!

Italians and Germans have European roots and yet are so different. Intercultural knowledge is often the key to business success.

German companies in Hungary not very hopeful

According to the latest economic survey of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DUIHK), the business climate of German companies in Hungary has fallen to a multi-year low in the fall of 2022.

Mechanical and plant engineering: engineers sought like never before

The number of vacancies for engineers in the mechanical engineering sector has reached a new high and demand will continue to grow. Currently, two out of three companies have engineering vacancies to fill.

EU reporting requirements - VDMA survey reveals bureaucratic monster

The VDMA survey "Employment in Europe 2022" once again proves that the patchwork of EU reporting requirements is associated with enormous costs and effort for VDMA member companies.

Machinery and plant engineering does well on the export markets

Mechanical engineering companies have held up well with their exports in the year to date. Machinery exports recorded nominal growth of 4 percent in the first nine months. However, price effects were primarily responsible for this growth.

Machinery exports up 5.2 percent in third quarter

Machinery exports from Germany in the third quarter were 2.9 percent below the previous year's level in real terms.

Brazil remains the focus of machinery and plant manufacturers

Optimism prevails among the majority of German mechanical engineering companies in Brazil, according to the latest VDMA business survey. Increasing order intake and growing European interest in South America as a trading and business partner are expected. Opportunities for the local economy are also associated with a view to the future President Lula.

Saudi Arabia drives energy transition forward

Saudi Arabia is investing billions in hydrogen projects to remain the world's energy supplier. The country's economic transformation is also being vigorously pursued.

Strict Covid 19 measures cause considerable difficulties for machinery manufacturers in China

Strict zero covid policies in China continue to significantly hamper business for local machinery and equipment manufacturers. And there is no improvement in sight, with a quarter of companies expecting business to actually worsen over the next six months.

Quarterly Report Mechanical Engineering in China Q3 2022

The quarterly report "Mechanical Engineering in China at a Glance" contains relevant key figures on production, sales, profits and investment in the mechanical engineering sector and key customer industries in China.

Economic bulletin international

In August and September, machinery manufacturers in many countries reported robust growth figures.

Foreign orders surprisingly strong

At the end of the summer, machinery and plant manufacturers were surprisingly able to fill their order books once again. In August, orders had already reached the previous year's level, in September they even increased by 5 percent in real terms compared to 2021.

"Make priorities clear, call for market opening"

China's policies are increasingly causing tensions, including in trade, and slowing down further economic development. Germany needs a China strategy with clear goals: Exploit market potential, reduce dependencies.

"Make priorities clear, call for market opening"

China's policies are increasingly causing tensions, including in trade, and slowing down further economic development. Germany needs a China strategy with clear goals: Exploit market potential, reduce dependencies.

Combined Nomenclature 2023 published

The EU Commission published the Combined Nomenclature (commodity codes) for 2023 on Oct. 31, 2022. There are only a few changes for the mechanical engineering industry.

Mercosur must be implemented now!

Only the Mercosur agreement will enable the EU to successfully build political pressure to limit further deforestation of the rainforest. After the election of the new Brazilian president, the Mercosur agreement should therefore finally be concluded.

"ReBuild Ukraine" 2023

The "ReBuild Ukraine" trade fair will be held in Warsaw on February 15 and 16, 2023. Deadline for registration for the German joint stand November 25, 2022.

Argentina - Shortage of foreign currency hinders payment transactions

Payment processing for deliveries to Argentina is becoming more difficult. Currently we are looking for your experiences regarding this problem.

The right visa - Traveling professionally in Kenya

With the introduction of the electronic visa process, the consular sections of Kenyan embassies have relinquished their responsibility for issuing visas.

Türkiye instead of Turkey

Turkey has announced that only "Türkiye" will be used as the country name in international correspondence.

China is indispensable market for mechanical engineering

China is a very important market for German mechanical engineering companies like ruhlamat - and at the same time an increasingly important competitor. Fair rules are important here.

The right visa - Traveling professionally in South Africa

Short-term business trips are possible without a visa, but a visa is required for assemblers and service assignments.

New VDMA Trade Fair Calendar 2023

With the trade fair calendar, we have been offering our members an orientation guide.

"As you are engineers, I know I can count on you"

The emotional highlight of the first day of the summit belonged to the American ambassador. Amy Gutmann left no doubt about the importance Germany and Europe once again have for the United States: "We are more united than ever!"

"Europe needs China, but China needs Europe even more"

For a long time, China was the land of great promise for the machinery and plant engineering industry. But the important trading partner has thrown wrenches into the works, not least through lockdowns and aggressive technology and trade policies. For many companies, it is now time to look beyond China.

Russia restricts the sale of companies

The Russian government is making it more difficult to withdraw from Russia by making management buyouts for companies from "unfriendly" states subject to approval.

Kazakhstan blocks circumvention of sanctions

Since the introduction of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, attempts have been made to obtain sanctioned goods via Kazakhstan. The Kazakh government is now trying to take action against this.

Russia prohibits activity of EU forwarding agencies

The Russian government has imposed a ban on trucks entering the country from EU countries, Norway, the UK and Ukraine.

Egypt postpones mandatory use of Cargo-X system

The Egyptian Customs Administration has postponed the mandatory use of the new electronic customs system "NAFEZA" for air cargo until the end of 2022.

Mechanical engineering holds its own in a difficult environment

In August, order intake in the machinery and plant engineering sector stagnated compared with the previous year. A good result in view of never-ending bottlenecks, price increases and uncertainties.

2nd Edition: Legal Issues Ukraine War and Russia Crisis

The VDMA Legal Department is providing a new edition of the publication on current legal issues in connection with the war in Ukraine and the crisis with Russia exclusively for members.

Mechanical engineering remains robust - but rising energy prices increase pressure

Mechanical and plant engineering companies are bracing themselves for noticeably tougher winter months, but can still count on growth in the current and, in some cases, the coming year. Companies are concerned about rising energy and raw material prices as well as the security of supply of natural gas and electricity in their own operations.

Flash survey on energy supply and material shortages

Rising prices and difficulties with energy supplies are a real test for the mechanical engineering sector. Supply chains also remain under tension, although there are signs of a slight easing in metals and metal products.

Accession of Ukraine to the Transit Convention

Ukraine joins transit convention, this also results in minor changes in customs declarations.

Field of tension "Free data traffic - Industrial Security

For foreign companies, secure cross-border data exchange with China involves enormous effort and there are numerous aspects to consider.

Expert topics

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.
China and Corona
The extreme entry restrictions justified by Corona are proving to be a threat to trade and investment - but are also a problem for many Chinese companies. Learn more about the current rules, the consequences for companies and the demands of the VDMA.
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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To the point

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Auf den Punkt Zitat Markets and Economy

"There is absolutely no equivalent substitute for China, even in the medium term."

Ulrich Ackermann, VDMA Department Foreign Trade

Auf den Punkt Zahl Markets and Economy


million euros

of machinery shipments to Argentina in the first half of 2022.Thus, the figures should continue to recover after the sharp drop in 2020.

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Märkte und Konjunktur

International forecasts available
  • International forecasts available 2023
  • Global economy loses momentum
  • Stagnation in global machine sales possible in 2023
  • three scenarios considered

VDMA Focus-Topic

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The United States

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Europe and China

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Further VDMA Services


Flash survey on energy supply and material shortages
Rising prices and difficulties with energy supplies are a real test for the mechanical engineering sector. Supply chains also remain under tension, although there are signs of a slight easing in metals and metal products.
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 2023
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


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

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.



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Institut für Weltwirtschaft Kiel
German Economic Institute
Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
gtai - Germany Trade & Invest

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,500 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.

Strong representation of interests

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.

A wide range of services

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