Trade fairs – an efficient means of promoting exports

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​German trade fairs frequently provide exhibitors with an outstanding way to acquire international markets. Around one-third of trade visitors come from abroad, and not only from neighbouring countries​. More than half a million visitors each year come from countries outside Europe. Yet German companies – and especially SMEs – see the need to present themselves more strongly in other countries as well, in order to accommodate their customers. They have resolutely addressed this need over recent years. Whereas around 20% of German companies exhibited abroad a good 15 years ago, the figure is now twice as high. ​

AUMA is constantly working to adjust the budget of the federal foreign trade fair programme to demand and to general economic conditions abroad.

But for small and medium-sized companies, that also means more organisational investment and greater risks. Such problems have been cushioned to a considerable degree by the German federal government’s foreign trade fair programme. However, its budget is barely able to maintain the number of German Pavilions at a constant level, and sometimes not enough to prevent slight declines.

Adjusting the foreign trade fair programme’s budget to demand and to general economic conditions abroad is a task that AUMA pursues on an ongoing basis. Ever more companies are seeking to acquire additional markets abroad, in this context they bank on the efficiency of the foreign trade fair programme. This efficiency has been clearly demonstrated in surveys of trade fair participants. Moreover, when German companies participate in trade fairs abroad they also export the “Made in Germany” label – and that is one of the strongest sales arguments that small and medium-sized companies have.


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