Digital Sustainable Development in German Trade

Transport Logistic Munich - after the event
Customs Support Presentation

​​​​​​​It’s been just over a month since the Transport Logistic event in Munich, where two of the main topics were digitalisation and sustainability. We discuss these themes for Germany in this article.

Why developing trade is essential for Germany

Did you know that Germany accounted for 7.2% of global trade in 2019 and that over 25% of jobs in Germany depend on the export market? With most sectors within the economy reliant upon selling products and services to other countries, global trade is a key interest for German businesses.

Free trade agreements, both within the European community and globally, promotes prosperity for all countries involved. This is why Germany advocates open markets and fair trading standards, enabled by clear and transparent rules; the economy depends on it.

However, such rules and trade agreements are set by the European Union, not by member states. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action does convey Germany’s position on policies at a European and international level, but decisions are made by the community.

How the European Union is adjusting their sights for sustainable growth

At the end of 2015, the European Commission revised the Global Europe (2006) and Europe 2020 (2010) strategies, presenting a new Trade for All strategy.

The new approach highlighted five main areas to be worked on:

  • Trade and investment as driving forces for growth and employment: The Commission notes that in the next 10 to 15 years, 90% of global growth will take place outside Europe. In order to benefit from this growth, the EU needs open markets.
  • New trade policy issues: A stronger focus on services, digital trade, raw materials, innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Greater transparency in trade and investment policy: This includes making TTIP negotiations more transparent to the public and working more closely with other EU institutions, the Member States and civil society. The European Commission also proposes regularly publishing the Council’s negotiating mandates.
  • A trade and investment policy that is based on values: The European Commission has presented its plans for reforming and redesigning the investment protection chapters in free trade agreements. A particular focus will be placed on whether trade policy upholds high sustainability, human rights and democracy standards.
  • Trade policy as a tool to shape globalisation: The European Commission stresses the importance it attaches to the WTO and to taking a multilateral approach to trade policy. At the same time, it develops proposals for reviving multilateral negotiations.

Germany welcomed the new policy in 2015, recognising that the sustainable development of transparency, investment protection and other standards are the key to improving the competitive edge of German and European businesses.

How digitalisation drives sustainable growth

Nearly eight years on, companies throughout Germany, the European Union, and the world are driving towards sustainable growth and stability using digital solutions to enhance the way data is collected, managed, and utilised.

This is evident in modern digital trade deals, the advancement of digital customs clearance and supply chains, and future-facing concepts such as the EU-centralised clearance window and using blockchain throughout your supply chain.

Digitalisation is key because it allows businesses, authorities, investors, and other stakeholders to generate and secure clean data across multiple countries, organisations, and systems. The risk of noncompliance or error is so much smaller compared to manual input, and it is done in a fraction of the time. This ensures that business and trade can scale whilst maintaining security.

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As a provider of import declarations, export clearances, and customs consultancy in 13 countries across the EU and UK, we are able to lead innovation in digital customs technologies. Our specialists have revolutionised data mapping, allowing systems across different countries, purposes, and sectors to integrate seamlessly with one another.

For more information on how digitalisation is shaping the future of customs, download our free whitepaper or contact an expert today.