Most German exporters see trade declining or even strongly declining in 2023, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) said on Wednesday.

The reasons for the pessimistic mood among exporters are linked to the weak economic situation in Asia and South America, according to the BGA. "Every fourth job in Germany depends on exports. Our economic and business model is therefore in danger," Dirk Jandura, president of the BGA, said on Wednesday in presenting the survey.

Jandura criticized the European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, which makes it mandatory for large companies to check whether their suppliers are using child labour or damaging the environment.

"It will be a burden for our small and medium companies," Jandura said, arguing that it will increase bureaucracy and legal uncertainties.

He also said the European Union's record in terms of concluding and ratifying new trade agreements is meagre.

"In Brussels, a weighty German voice for free trade is missing," Jandura said. (Reporting by Maria Martinez; Editing by Nick Macfie)