Germany looking outside Europe to grow exports in 2013 – trade body

08 February 2013 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--German industrial firms will continue to look outside Europe to increase their exports in 2013, an economist at the country’s top industrial trade group said on Friday.

“Exports to countries outside Europe will be driving Germany’s economy in 2013 as well,” said Oliver Wieck, foreign trade expert at Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI). Germany’s chemical producers trade group VCI is a member of BDI.

In 2012, Germany’s exports to non-EU countries rose 8.8% year on year while exports to eurozone countries fell 2.1%, Wieck said in commenting on export data released by the country's statistics agency earlier on Friday.

Overall, Germany’s exports rose 3.4% year on year in 2012, to a record €1.1trn ($1.5trn), despite a weak global economy, Wieck said.

In fact, Germany’s export growth rate outpaced global trade growth of 2.8% last year, he said. Germany’s share of global trade rose to 8.6%, from 8.5% in 2011.

However, Germany’s exports slowed markedly in the 2012 fourth quarter, Wieck said. In December, exports were up 0.3% sequentially from November but down 6.9% year on year from December 2012.

Going forward, Wieck pointed in particular to ongoing efforts by the US and the EU to deepen trade across the Atlantic, which should boost economic growth.

But Wieck also warned of growing protectionism in many countries.

Apart from duties and quotas, governments were building up protectionist barriers through subsidies, restrictive public procurement rules, and other measures, he said.

In related news, US chemical industry trade group ACC this week also pointed to a potential US-EU trade agreement as a growth driver for exports.

($1 = €0.75)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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