North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions
Schleswig Holstein's exports to Russia have dropped by 31 percent, state finance minister Reinhard Meyer said in comments reported by the Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday.
“Above all the car industry has been hit, but also the machinery and food sectors have been seriously affected,” said Meyer.
Meyer said the state has also seen a 13 percent decrease in imports from Russia.
“That means that in 2014 Russia fell from place 11 to 17 in terms of Schleswig Hosltein's trade partners.”
Logistics companies have had to cope with the most serious consequences for their businesses, he said. “Some logistics firms are threatened with going under because of the acute fall in transport contracts.”
Meyer said that a general weakness in the Russian economy stretching back over three years was to blame for the drop in trade, but that it was being compounded by European sanctions which have particularly hit the finance sector.
“The chances for Russian banks to to finance themselves have grown considerably worse,” he commented.
The sanctions have had a large impact on the north German harbours, the finance minister noted.
Hamburg Harbour had fallen behind Rotterdam and Antwerp in terms of its business as a result of the sanctions, he said.
“Hamburg Harbour has an enormous importance for employment and economic growth in Schleswig Holstein, meaning that from there we can only expect moderate growth potential in the medium term.”
Kiel harbour, the port which deals with more sea traffic in the Baltic sea than any other German harbour, has also witnessed a decrease in activity of six percent, said Meyer.