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Trade and industry

Architecture detail in Schwerin around 1925

Trade and properly organised crafts were determined by the domestic market until the 19th century. Agricultural products were exported. Export production started with the Industrial Revolution and after the removal of guild restrictions around 1870. Shipbuilding, road and railway vehicle manufacturing became established in Wismar, Schwerin, Güstrow and Rostock. Metalworking emerged in Teterow and Neustadt-Glewe. Aircraft construction developed during the first half of the 20th century.

The GDR promoted the maritime industry, machine building and food trade in the north. After 1990 the food trade and shipbuilding continued and were supplemented through the middle-sized supply industry.

Spielkartenfabrik Stralsund Sortiersaal
Stralsund playing card factory around 1900

Trade and crafts, organised in guilds, largely serve the domestic market until into the 19th century. Mainly agricultural products are exported. Export trade begins around 1870 when compulsory membership of guilds is abolished, and it is concentrated mainly around Stettin. Shipbuilding, track and road vehicle construction flourish in Stettin, Barth and Stralsund. Torgelow becomes a centre of metal working. Tourism develops as an important economic factor on the Baltic Sea coast around 1900. Aircraft construction emerges in the first half of the 20th century. The GDR subsidises maritime industry, mechanical engineering and the food industry in the north. The food and shipping industries continue after 1990, attracting medium-sized supplier firms.

Trade and industry