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Modern and international trading centre

Frankfurt was one of the main trading routes back in the Middle Ages: in 1240 it was the first European city to receive the Emperor’s privilege to hold annual trade fairs. Under the Emperor’s protection, the city became an important trade centre. The development into a modern, international trade fair and business location was a logical progression.

The Frankfurt Trade Fair (Messe Frankfurt) is one of the largest trade fair locations in the world; throughout the year buyers and sellers meet here to conduct business. Today about 30 trade fairs and exhibitions take place on this site every year. These include well-known events such as the IAA International Automobile Exhibition and the traditional Frankfurt Book Fair. Ambiente and Premiere, the largest consumer goods trade fairs in the world, are held here. With 42,386 exhibitors, over half of these from other countries, and some 1.47 million visitors (2010), Frankfurt is the largest trade fair location in Europe.

With over 10,000 wholesale and retail companies, this sector is clearly very important for the city. The intensive trading links established by Frankfurt companies have generated a strong commitment from foreign companies in Frankfurt. As a result, roughly a quarter of foreign direct investment in Germany flows into the region. Around 41,000 people work in this branch of business.

Frankfurt’s famous Zeil pedestrian zone is Germany’s biggest selling shopping street.