Economic Structure

Dresden's economy has more than one leg to stand on: the city has a well-developed industrial sector while at the same time being an important center for the service industry and administration. 99 percent of companies are medium-sized firms.


Dresden is the most important industrial location in eastern Germany and a heavyweight on foreign markets. Its 236 industrial companies (with more than 20 employees) employ 26,000 people. In 2012 they made a total turnover of 6,5 billion euro. At 50.9 percent, the export rate is well above the average for Saxony (35.7 percent) and just over that for Germany (44.9 percent). Dresden's industry is also above average when it comes to willingness to invest: in 2012 over a billion euros were invested. In 2009 the figure was 332 million euros.


The services sector has undergone constant growth. More than half of such companies now work in the retail, transport and hospitality sectors or provide services for business or science. Most companies in this sector (about 4,400, employing 43,500 people) fall under the heading of 'Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities.'

Public Service

As the capital of the state of Saxony, Dresden also has a well-developed public sector with numerous authorities and public companies. 17 percent of staff employed in the public services in Saxony work in Dresden.


Medium-sized businesses have a major formative influence on Dresden's economy—99 percent of businesses fall into this category. This distribution is reflected in every economic sector. Only 0.4 percent employ more than 250 people, although those nonetheless employ about one third of Dresden's entire workforce.

Excellence is the city‘s motto

Dresden’s success is based on key technologies including microelectronics, information-and-communications, new materials, photovoltaic and nanotechnology, and, life sciences and biotechnology. The interdisciplinary collaboration between businesses and research facilities helps move Dresden forward.