15 August 2002 15:25 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The Association of the Dutch Chemicals Industry (VNCI) on Thursday urged major changes in government policy to safeguard the sector's growth as it forecast that full year turnover will exceed last year’s Euro32.9bn ($32.0bn).
For the first six months of the year the national chemical industry's turnover was 3% below the same period last year, although production was 6% ahead. In May, the VNCI forecast full year revenue growth of 2%. However, the association today declined to quantify the precise annual growth rate now expected.
The VNCI said that to assure chemical sector growth the Dutch government would need to implement measures to reduce inflation and cut energy prices to levels that are more competitive with other European countries.
It also cautioned that Dutch chemical substance legislation should not precede European legislation and regulations.
Earlier this year the Dutch government banned the brominated flame retardant FR720, contradicting European Commission (EC) advice that such a ban is not warranted scientifically and will damage free trade.
The VNCI also highlighted the issue of maintaining the current level of Dutch chemicals expertise and said it expected the new government under Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to encourage and support technology and education.
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