This paper deals with the presence of East German manufacturers in foreign product markets. The following questions are discussed: Which factories sell their products abroad? What influences the export activities? Hypotheses are built on the basis of different trade theories, such as the relative position of the enterprises in their home market, the cumulation of learning effects in production and sales, the saturation of the domestic market and others. Individual data sets from industrial surveys for 1995 and 2000 are used to reveal the relationship between the company's technical as well as institutional characteristics and their participation in export activities. Bivariate and multivariate approaches are applied. Additionally, a sample of enterprises has been asked to assess their export activities.