Germany needs to do more to strengthen its industries – VCI

31 January 2012 18:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s politicians and companies need to do more to help maintain and improve the country’s role as a leading global industrial producer, the head of the country’s chemical trade group said on Tuesday.

Klaus Engel, the president of Frankfurt-based VCI and CEO of specialty chemicals major Evonik, called in particular for more effort to ensure that major infrastructure projects and new technologies will be accepted by the German people.

Engel also said that industrial producers need an energy and climate protection policy framework that will ensure that electricity supplies will remain affordable, and he called for tax incentives for research.

Germany is an industrial country,” Engel said. 

Industrial production accounts for more than 20% of the country’s GDP – a much higher share than in the US or Japan, for example, he said.

The country’s chemical industry, for its part, supplies about 80% of its output to other industries for further processing, Engel said.

“I am confident that with the right policy framework, Germany will remain a vital and strong site for industrial production,” he said.

Engel’s remarks came after BASF said this month it would shift its biotech business to the US from Germany, where the technology has failed to win acceptance.

At the same time, a number of industrial infrastructure projects – including Bayer’s carbon monoxide (CO) pipeline in North Rhine-Westphalia state – have been blocked or delayed because of objections from residents and environmental groups.

Another challenge for Germany's industrial producers is the government's plan to end nuclear power generation by 2022. 

For more on BASF, Bayer, Evonik and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog


By: Stefan Baumgarten
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