The Federal Republic of Germany is a Western European country that shares its borders with nine other countries.
Germany is one of Europe’s main economic powers – it is the largest economy in Europe, the second largest in the world in terms of exports and the fifth largest in terms of per capita income. It is also a key member of the EU and NATO and has had the Euro as its currency since 1999. The nation is renown for its precision engineering and high-tech products, especially cars, which are a source of national pride. The country’s excellent road network (the autobahn) reflects this love of automobiles and even attracts speed tourists from other countries. It is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals and household equipment.
As a federation of states, Germany is in many ways a decentralised country and embraces the cultural differences between its regions. The River Main is generally accepted as the dividing line between north Germany and south Germany both linguistically and culturally. The country’s landscape is one of dense forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North and Baltic Sea coastlines. The capital, Berlin, is a buzzing cultural metropolis, with the Brandenburg Gate serving as a reminder to visitors of its reunification in 1989.