Germany's leadership in the chemical industry and its proximity to the rest of the EU make the country an ideal location for the distribution of products within Europe. The chemical sector produces a wide range of goods that are either sold as end products or are used as input products in other processing industries. Since 2005, the amount of chemical products' imports into Germany has increased steadily and is projected to expand even further. Many of these chemicals are also imported as raw materials, processed within Germany and then re-exported afterwards. There are 2,000 chemical companies active in Germany; approximately ninety percent are small to medium sized enterprises. Many of these chemical companies are interested in importing raw materials from reliable suppliers in order to secure their production.