Crossing Industrial Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters

03  May 2012    4:00 pm

Markus Kelle, Università degli Studi di Milano, wiiw

In cooperation with:
Research Centre International Economics (FIW) 


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, lecture hall (entrance from the ground floor)


Manufacturing firms increasingly engage in service trade activities. Micro-level data show that German manufacturers account for roughly 25% of German cross-border producer service exports. I have found that particular construction, engineering, and R&D services are exported. The machinery industries and automobile and chemicals producers dominate the overall pattern. The types of services exported vary strongly across industries. Furthermore, export activities are concentrated on a few large exporters. Service exports of advertising, data processing, and R&D services are found to likely support foreign affiliates of firms. However, these headquarter services are only infrequently observable. Much more important are construction and engineering services exported by machinery firms. These might represent installation and maintenance services exported to complement the supply of machinery. Beyond the support of foreign affiliates of firms, R&D services exports might be also important to transfer knowledge between unaffiliated firms at different stages of the value chain.