The importance of Germany for the study of global financial reporting is very apparent from the statistics presented in Chapter 1. Germany has the third largest economy in the world; it is a major power in world trade, being second only to the USA in the size of its exports and imports; in fact, in certain years its exports even exceeded those of the USA. German enterprises are large investors in other countries in terms both of annual flows and of stock; in both areas Germany is third after the USA and Britain. There are seven German enterprises in the top fifty MNEs: DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, Siemens, BMW, Bayer, VIAG and BASF.
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