The tertiary sector as a whole has the largest shares of GDP produced and of employees (68.9% of GDP and about 65% of the workforce), with considerable sectoral productivity. For a majority of these figures, these are service activities intended for businesses, that is to say, to support the enormous production sector mentioned so far. The communications system, which is very dense and well equipped, has a similar purpose, both as regards roads and motorways, and for the railways. The road and rail systems are undergoing updates (high-speed trains, high-speed roads in urban areas, multi-lane highways), especially in the eastern regions, not only to adapt their characteristics to the more advanced western infrastructures, but also, above all, in view of their more solid and functional connection with the eastern countries, first of all Poland and the Czech Republic, with which the exchange of goods and people multiplied in the 1990s. From the point of view of communications, in fact, Germany fully exploits its centrality in continental terms, but, at the same time, its marginality towards the European Union which allows it to have privileged relations with the new nations of the former bloc. Soviet. The circulation of motor vehicles is very intense. Of considerable importance is navigation on inland waterways, largely interconnected to form a real network, especially extended in the lower Rhine area and in the coastal regions. Since, with the unification, it was possible to reconnect the West and East canals together, the German network was connected (Rhine-Main-Danube canal) with the Danube system, making it possible to navigate inland from the North Sea to the Black Sea, while the connection with the Rhône system in France is being made, towards the Mediterranean, and its possible connection to the Polish network, towards the Baltic Sea, is being studied. Although it requires substantial investments, the construction of canals and canalizations is generally of strategic importance, especially in perspective, since it allows relatively rapid transport at very low operating costs and with a very modest environmental impact, in comparison with other modes of transport.
Hamburg, Bremen, Wilhelmshaven remain the main German ports, but their importance in the international context has long since diminished; while the airports (especially Frankfurt am Main, Munich and Düsseldorf), well located almost in the center of Europe, see their traffic continuously increase, especially international ones (but internal movements are also very intense, and the national company, the Lufthansa, is one of the largest in the world). On the other hand, such a developed communications network is functional to the connection of the various business centers of the country which, in line with the federal structure of the state, are located in the various cities that oversee various aspects of the country’s management. The most important poles of the tertiary sector are, in addition to Berlin and Bonn, main offices from the government point of view, of ministries and various associations, Frankfurt, capital of finance, headquarters of the European Central Bank and one of the most important stock exchanges at the world; and Hamburg, the main port as well as the capital of daily and periodical publishing, being the seat of the two publications with the largest national circulation (Bild-Zeitung and Der Spiegel); even if all the major cities are now the headquarters of important financial and commercial activities.
The banking system in Germany has a very strong tradition. The central bank is the Deutsches Bundesbank, a non-governmental institution with offices in each of the Länder; and among the various investment banks, some (in particular Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank) control large volumes of business internationally. In particular, Dredsner, following the merger with the insurance giant Allianz, which took place in 2001, became the largest insurance banking group in Europe. It is also worth noting the presence on the territory of approx. 500 foreign credit institutions. Internal exchanges in the country are traditionally very lively, also given a certain productive complementarity between the various regions, accentuated, in a certain sense, by the reunification. The retail commercial network is highly developed and rationalized by the presence of a large number of hypermarkets and supermarkets; but small businesses also continue to be very lively. Germany occupies, together with the United States and Japan, the first places in international trade. The trade balance is in surplus. The European Union weighs, both in import and export, for over 55% of the value (the main correspondents, in order, are France, the Netherlands and Italy, followed by Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria). Visit justinshoes.net for Europe trade. Trade with the United States is very intense. The main import items are represented by raw materials and petroleum products, food, textiles and clothing; exports are due to machinery (almost half of the total), vehicles, electrical and electronic materials, chemicals, optical and medical devices, computers and their parts, oil, paper (in order of importance). On the other hand, the tourist balance is very negative.