The traditional heart of Saxony’s economy is found in the ChemnitzZwickau region. Whether it be mechanical engineering or more than 100 years of “Autoland Saxony” – strong and highly efficient industries have evolved from smart ideas and intelligent solutions. The digital heart of the microelectronics / ICT industry beats in Dresden. “Silicon Saxony” is Europe’s largest microelectronics cluster and the fifth largest worldwide. Geared towards the future, researchers and young entrepreneurs between Leipzig and Dresden are working hand in hand in the sectors life sciences and environmental technology. The city of Leipzig is a vibrant and bustling trade fair and media city as well as a dynamic logistics hub.

Diagram: Saxony‘s  Most Important Branches – Share of Saxony‘s Industrial Turnover (2017)

Source: Statistical Office of the Federal State of Saxony


In 2017, Saxony's industry (enterprises with 20 and more persons employed in the manufacturing trade as well as in mining and quarrying) generated a total turnover of 67.4 billion euros; this exceeded the previous year’s value by 5.6 percent. Domestic business, thus, increased by 4.8 percent, foreign sales by 6.2 percent. The export rate, i.e. the proportion of foreign sales of the total turnover, amounted to 39.8 percent (previous year: 37.0 percent).

The most important industrial branch continues to be the automobile industry with a share of 27.0 percent of all sales. It is followed by the metal production sector with a 13.0 percent share, machine construction with a 12.6 percent share, as well as by the electrical engineering / microelectronics branches with a share of 11.6 percent of Saxony's industrial turnover.


Chart: Regional Structure of Saxony's Industry

Source: statistical Office of the Federal State of Saxony


Saxony’s industry has an infrastructure that is deeply rooted in the region. – Since time immemorial, the digital heart of the European microelectronics / ICT branch has been beating in Dresden. Conducting pioneering work, researchers and young entrepreneurs are working in the life sciences / pharmaceutical sector primarily in the greater metropolitan areas of Leipzig and Dresden.

The traditional heart of Saxony’s economy, however, is the Chemnitz-Zwickau region. Whether it be machine construction or more than 100 years of “Autoland Saxony” – clever ideas and intelligent solutions have evolved into vibrant industries. Just the Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH alone runs two factories for vehicles and engines here. The second hub of Saxony’s automobile branch is the city of Leipzig, where BMW and Porsche have set up large production plants.

Diagram: Saxony‘s  Most Important Branches – Share of Saxony‘s Export Turnover (2017)

Source: Statistical Office of the Federal State of Saxony


With a 36.5 percent share in foreign sales, products of the automobile industry continue to be Saxony’s most important export goods. Their sales to foreign countries have more than doubled over the past ten years. In 2017, foreign sales in the automobile industry amounted to a total of about 9.2 billion euros. The main customers were the United States of America and China.

The export business in machine construction increased to approximately 4.3 billion euros; 7.8 percent more than in 2016. When it comes to the manufacture of computers, electronic and optical products, the volume of transactions completed with foreign customers reached almost 3.1 billion euros. And when it comes to the metal production, there was an increase of 10.5 percent to about 2.1 billion euros.

Similar to the previous years, the four above mentioned business sectors accounted for considerably more than two thirds of all foreign sales generated by Saxony’s industry.


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    Saxony's Main Industry Sectors

    Industrial branches continue to contribute towards Saxony’s value creation today. The branches which define the infrastructure are the automobile industry, machine and plant construction as well as the microelectronics / ICT sector.

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Prof. Ezio Bonifacio

Director, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at Dresden University of Technology

"After having worked in London, in Perth/Australia, and in Milan, I came to Dresden in 2007. Here, I found the perfect environment for my research at the CRTD. When it comes to developing regenerative therapies, we benefit substantially from the interdisciplinary exchange. This applies both to the institute and the city’s scientific community."

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