German chem group calls for ‘active industrial policy’

11 June 2010 17:00  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A regional German chemical employers group is calling on the country’s government to pursue an “active industrial policy”, with a focus on secure energy supplies for the chemical industry, it said on Friday.

ChemieNord, which was reacting to Germany’s €80bn ($96bn) budget cut package announced this week, said the industry needed a “comprehensive strategy“, with an active industrial policy committed to ensuring energy supplies are obtainable at affordable prices.

The government’s current approach was “insufficient,” the group said. ChemieNord represents over 300 chemical firms, employing 70,000 workers in Germany’s northern states of Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and in the Hamburg city state.

“We are calling on the federal government to move quickly to create a framework that will provide producers with a basis for making long-term production and investment decisions,” the group said.

Such a framework was needed more than ever as Germany’s chemical producers were still coping with the fall-out from the financial and economic crisis, it added.

The group said it was particularly worried about government plans to reverse a producers’ break on energy taxes.

Earlier this week, Germany’s top chemical producers industry group, VCI, also criticised the government for planned moves to curb breaks on energy taxes.

However, both VCI and ChemieNord agreed with Chancellor Angel Merkel about the need for fiscal consolidation.

Meanwhile, Merkel's coalition government is expected to present a national energy strategy by this autumn.

($1 = €0.83)

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