BERLIN, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The German electronics industry is set to increase production by 1 percent with total sales exceeding 400 billion euros in 2019, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) announced on Tuesday.
Industry association ZVEI expects lower growth of production than in the previous year. According to preliminary calculations, production in the German electronics industry increased by 2.8 percent between January and November 2018.
Total sales of the German electronics industry, which also include services and software, increased by 3.2 percent to 179.8 billion euros (204.3 billion U.S. dollars) from January until November 2018. ZVEI estimates that sales for the total year will amount to approximately 197 billion euros.
China remained the single largest customer for products of the German electrical industry, followed by the United States. Between January and November 2018, exports worth 19.4 billion euros went to China, meaning an increase of 11.4 percent compared to the previous year. Exports to the U.S. increased in the same period by 3.8 percent to 16.4 billion euros.
The already successful cooperation between Germany and China on many future subjects such as artificial intelligence could thus be further strengthened, according to chairman of the management board of ZVEI Klaus Mittelbach. This would allow Germany's strengths in industrial artificial intelligence to be combined with China's data analysis capabilities for mutual benefit.
In order to defend good market positions of companies in Germany, Mittelbach also called for a strong digital infrastructure, which would be a prerequisite for more data-based business models.
"Only with local 5G networks for the industry we are able to secure the leading role of our companies in competition," said Mittelbach, adding that the expansion of such networks should not be delayed.
By the end of January, network operators in Germany can register for the auction of the frequencies for the new 5G cellular network standard at the German federal network agency (Bundesnetzagentur).
Recently, the three major network operators in Germany, Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica, had filed lawsuits against the Bundesnetzagentur for legal uncertainties around the allocation process of frequencies.