Saxony's Economy - A Success Story

Business Location Saxony

Already in the 18th century, the Industrial Age began in Saxony with the founding of the first machine construction companies. The region, thus, headed the field on the European mainland. The first locomotive to be designed and engineered in Germany, the first six-cylinder engine, the centrally positioned gearshift lever in automobiles – all of these pioneering innovations come from Saxony. In the mid-19th century, the industrial cities Chemnitz, Zwickau, and their suburbs were the region with Europe’s highest per-capita income.

And the success story continues: Since 1990, about 6,000 companies have set up or purchased business premises in Saxony. Saxony’s economy has increased by more than 30 percent since 2000; thus, exhibiting one of the highest GDP growth rates of all German federal states. 


Vibrant industrial branches form the backbone of the business venue Saxony. Its top selling branches include the automobile industry, machine and plant construction as well as the microelectronics / ICT sector.

In addition to these sectors, which essentially determine the economic structure, the business venue Saxony is also characterized by such branches as, for example, environmental / energy technology, life sciences, or rail and aerospace technology as well as such company-related service sectors as, for example, logistics or the software industry.

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Diagram: Saxony's GDP 1991 - 2021

Source: Statistical Office of the Federal State of Saxony


In 2021, Saxony’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 134,500 million euros (at current prices; 5.5 percent more than 2020) and was generated in about 2,850 million working hours by 2.05 million gainfully employed persons whose workplace was in the Federal State. Per working hour, this resulted in a GDP at current prices of 47,21 euros – which is equivalent to a real increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year. Last year’s GDP per gainfully employed person amounted to 65,527 euros which was 2.6 percent higher than in 2020.

Since 2000, Saxony’s economy has increased by more than 30 percent; it, thus, exhibits one of the highest GDP growth rates among all German federal states.

Diagram: Saxony‘s  Most Important Branches – Share of Saxony‘s Industrial Turnover (2021)


In 2021, Saxony's industry (results for enterprises with 20 and more persons employed in the manufacturing trade as well as in mining and quarrying) generated a total turnover of 72,414 million euros; this exeeds the previous year’s value by 14.1 percent. The export rate, i.e. the proportion of foreign sales of the total turnover, amounted to 40.8 percent (previous year: 37.5 percent).

The most important industrial branch continues to be the automobile industry with a share of 25.6 percent of all sales. It is followed by the metal production sector and the electrical engineering / microelectronics branches with a share of 13.9 percent respectively 13.4 percent, as well as by machine construction with a share of 10.9 percent of Saxony's industrial turnover.



Saxony’s foreign trade reached an export volume of 44,796 million euros in 2021. Compared to 2020, this equals an increase of 21percent. In 2021 as well, Saxony’s largest export partner continued to be China. 

Saxony’s imports significantly increased by 19 percent and reached a volume of 32,221 million euros. About 62 percent of all imports came from EU member states, of which more than one quarter came from Saxony’s most significant import partner – the Czech Republic.  


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Im Rahmen des Exzellenzclusters „cfaed“ wird auch an der Echtzeit-Interaktion von Robotern und Menschen geforscht. „Versuchsobjekt“ ist ein gestengesteuerter NAO-Roboter (im Bild), der zukünftig zum Beispiel im Haushalt helfen könnte.

Source: Dresden University of Technology / cfaed / 5G Lab Germany, photo: Matthias Hahndorf

Saxony's Innovative Power

A great plus for Saxony is its extraordinary innovative power. The region is a European "innovation leader" (source: EU’s "Regional Innovation Scoreboard").

Saxony’s researchers and entrepreneurs play a decisive role in developing intelligent solutions for everyday use in the future. Their focus is on intersectoral topics such as lightweight engineering, energy storage technologies, electromobility or organic & flexible electronics.

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