Bavaria boasts a unique identity developed over 1,500 years, a span of time that witnessed the growth of both traditional agricultural wealth and world-class manufacturing and service industries. Hence the slogan: "Laptop and Lederhose."
BMW, Audi, Siemens, EADS, and Airbus are only a few of the household names that have made Bavaria a powerhouse in manufacturing and exporting.
Manufacturing's dominance is matched by the strength of the service industry, as Germany's top insurance corporations – such as Allianz and Munich Re – and a number of major banking institutions call Bavaria home.
These industries enjoy Bavaria's state-of-the-art transportation, telecommunications, and energy infrastructures. The almost 40 institutions of higher learning and more than 20 research centers also help keep companies on the cutting edge of their fields and make Bavaria a center of innovation.
This combination of hospitality, beauty, hard work, and high-tech has also made Bavaria one of Europe's strongest centers of economic growth – with a 1997-2007 growth rate of 29.4 percent – in addition to attracting numerous foreign companies, such as GE, Merck & Co., Olympus, and Pfizer.