EU approach to promote re-industrialisation falls short – VCI

10 October 2012 17:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Europe needs more investment and less top-down control as it seeks to promote re-industrialisation, Germany’s chemical industry trade group VCI said on Wednesday.

The Frankfurt-based group was reacting to a communication from the European Commission that called for immediate action to reverse the current downward trend in industrialisation.

The Commission aims for industry to contribute as much a 20% to EU GDP by 2020, up from the current 15.6%.

“The Commission has set the right target,” said VCI general manager Utz Tillmann.

However, Tillmann said the Commission’s plans to achieve that target are falling short.

He said VCI was particularly concerned about the Commission's aspiration to control and steer investment and research from top-down in order to speed up the restructuring of Europe into a “green economy.”

The key to reindustrialisation is private sector investments, Tillmann said. To promote and attract those, Europe needs to have in place the “right conditions” as a site for industrial production, he said.

In a communication responding to challenges European industry faces in the current economic crisis, Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "We cannot continue to let our industry leave Europe.”

“By working together and restoring confidence, we can bring back industry to Europe," he said.

Europe is “a world-leader” in many strategic sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, Tajani said.

If confidence comes back, and with it new investments, Europe's industry can perform better and start growing again, he said.

Two reports on competitiveness adopted by the Commission on Wednesday analyse the main globalisation trends in the last 15 years and the implied costs and benefits and the challenges ahead for EU businesses.

The reports focus on manufacturing productivity; export performance; innovation and sustainability; business environment and infrastructure; and finance and investment. The reports are available on the Commission’s website.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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