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BERLIN (Reuters) - German exports could increase by four percent in 2013, according to a forecast by the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Monday.
The DIHK said that despite increasing hurdles to trade and weak economic growth in industrial nations, there would be a considerable increase in demand for German exports from developing countries.
"In 2013 German exporters will have to navigate through a difficult environment," DIHK economist Volker Treier told the newspaper.
The DIHK is slightly more optimistic with its forecast than the German industry association (BDI), which recently forecast an increase in exports in 2013 of "at least 3 percent".
Germany is one of the world's leading export nations. Some 40 percent of all German exports go to the 17-nation euro zone and 60 percent to the wider 27-member European Union.
Strong export growth in 2012 has helped keep the German economy growing this year despite the turmoil due to the euro zone debt crisis. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.1 percentage points in the third quarter after 0.2 percent in the second quarter.
Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Pravin Char