Considerable Export Potentials in Eastern Germany
For a long time, the Federal Republic of Germany is one of the countries with the highest export performance in the world. But a closer examination of East- and West-Germany reveals substantial regional differences. The collabse of the markets in the eastern European countries, which were the main trading partners of GDR, after the breakdown of communism caused a sustainable decline of East-German exports. Nevertheless it was expected that the economic recovery in the former communist countries and the access to new export markets in the western world would cause an upward movement of East-German Trade. Although during the last years East-German exports grew faster than those of Western Germany, the east German share in Germanys total exports is still comparatively low. On the basis of a gravity-model of trade, bilateral export potencials are empirically analysed. This is done for the Federal Republic of Germany as a whole, and seperately forEast and West-Germany. Afterwards, the calculated export potencials are compared with actual exports. The results show that Germany as a whole exceeds its export potencial against the majority of its main trading partners. The differentiated analysis for East and West-Germany supports the hypothesis that Germanys high export performance stems from the western part of the country, whereas the eastern part exploits its export potencial with Germanys main trading partners only to the half. The unexploited export potencials as well as the higher concentration on the fast-growing central and eastern European markets imply considerable potencials for East-German exports to grow in the future.