01 October 2010 21:55 [Source: ICIS news]
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ROME (ICIS)--Europe's chemical industry must focus on innovation, globalisation and customers to successfully compete with other markets, the new president of the region's trade federation Cefic said on Friday.
Giorgio Squinzi, president of the Italian chemical industry association, Federchimica, and chairman of construction chemicals producer MAPEI, was elected president of Cefic, Europe’s chemicals trade federation, on Friday.
Squinzi will serve as Cefic's president for the next two years, effective immediately.
Squinzi highlighted the challenges for the sector in his speech to the annual gathering of European chemicals trade associations.
The new president said it would be a difficult time for the European industry, which was rapidly losing share in a growing global chemicals market, especially to the fast-expanding economies in Asia.
He add that there was a need for a better regulatory framework to drive innovation in the chemical industry in order to offer new products.
“It’s a situation where production continues to grow in Europe, but at a slower rate than emerging markets. Employment in the sector drops about two per cent each year in Europe,” Squinzi said.
“I know from my experience previously heading research and development [R&D] at MAPEI that today Europe needs to harness its strength in R&D so it can move swiftly to more robust innovation that gives this high-tech industry a more competitive footing,” he added.
In addition, as part of its strategy, Squnzi said Cefic would concentrate on chemical safety, which included helping the integration of Reach regulations, climate change and attracting more young people to the industry.
He succeeds Christian Jourquin, CEO of the Belgium-based producer Solvay.
Tony Bastock, CEO of UK-based Contract Chemicals; Rhodia chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu; and Wolfgang Plischke, a member of Bayer’s board, were elected as Cefic’s vice presidents.
The elections took place at Cefic’s general assembly in Rome, Italy.
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