Within Europe, the flow of trade between eastern and western
Europe is seeing disproportionate growth
Within Europe, Germany plays a decisive role in the flow of trade thanks to its
economic importance and German companies’ intense focus on exports, as well
as its location in the heart of Europe. Germany is a partner in eight of the top 10
bilateral trading relationships (chart 9). The two largest bilateral trading
relationships since the mid-1950s are between Germany and the Netherlands
and between Germany and France.
Bilateral trading relationships between western and eastern European countries
have seen disproportionate growth since the early 1990s. This is attributable to
the dynamic development in eastern European countries as a result of the
convergence process following the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Bilateral trade between Germany and Poland, between the Netherlands and Russia, and
between Germany and the Czech Republic has seen particularly strong growth.
Trade between Germany and Italy, and between Germany and France, on the
other hand, has posted significantly below-average development.
The flow of trade is likely to continue shifting towards eastern Europe in the
years ahead as eastern European countries make up further ground, provided
that the tensions between the EU and Russia do not intensify.