In order to safeguard these strengths for the future, the Industrial Strategy 2030 identifies three central fields of action. It also includes the results of the intensive dialogue process conducted over the previous months.
The three pillars of the Industrial Strategy
Improving the overall conditions for entrepreneurial activities
The success of Germany’s economy is built on the initiative and the willingness to take risks of the private sector. The primary task for policymakers is to shape the economic policy framework in such a way that companies can continue to use their opportunities for further development. This ensures the competitiveness of Germany as a hub for industry. The Industrial Strategy specifies measures in various areas:
- shaping corporate taxation in a way that ensures competitiveness,
- capping welfare charges,
- making the labour market more flexible
- mobilising skilled labour,
- ensuring a safe and affordable energy supply and preventing carbon leakage,
- expanding infrastructure,
- securing the supply of raw materials and promoting the circular economy,
- reducing red tape and
- modernising competition law.
Strengthening new technologies – mobilising private capital
Technologies are a key driver of structural change. The German and European economies therefore have to pursue two goals: firstly, to directly apply game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence; and secondly, to develop these technologies and in doing so set new standards. Any company wishing to maintain its position in the face of competition will need to have mastery of and access to the new technologies.
Furthermore, we have to activate the innovation potential in Germany and make sure that more technological innovations are used in practice. The Industrial Strategy 2030 identifies the following goals in particular:
- promoting investment in technologies, for example by improving financing options for game-changing technologies,
- activating the production potential of digitalisation in the fields: artificial intelligence, Industrie 4.0, an autonomous and trustworthy data infrastructure, digital platforms and the mobility of the future,
- setting the stage for effective climate change mitigation by means of a low-emission industrial sector and CCS as well as CCU technologies,
- developing the bioeconomy as a forward-looking field to strengthen Germany’s status as a location for high technology, and
- promoting lightweighting.
Maintaining technological sovereignty
In addition to improving economic policies and promoting technologies more actively, it may be necessary in certain cases to maintain the technological sovereignty of the German economy. In particular, losses of expertise must be avoided, and self-determination in key fields of technology must be retained: The Industrial Strategy includes the following measures:
- Modernising instruments for the protection of technological sovereignty: we are adapting the law on foreign trade to changes in EU legislation. As a last resort, and only if all the other instruments do not apply, temporary state holdings are to be individually considered and offered via a National Shareholding Instrument. The National Shareholding Instrument Standing Committee of the Federal Government at State Secretary level could make it possible to take the decisions quickly and efficiently.
- Improving cybersecurity.
The Industrial Strategy in a European context
The Industrial Strategy 2030 also contains suggestions for a European industrial policy. For example, it requests the adaptation of European competition and state aid law to changing parameters. Moreover, like many other Member States of the European Union, we call upon the new European Commission to present a comprehensive long-term EU industrial strategy with specific measures. In October this year, this position was reaffirmed in the Friends of Industry’s joint “Vienna Declaration”. In addition, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action advocates a structured monitoring of the EU industry’s competitiveness in order to develop industrial policy measures and, if appropriate, set the course for institutional changes as well.
In order to make Europe’s industrial sector fit for the future, we must use the available potential for innovation even more. The work of the Strategic Forum and the instrument “Important Project of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) associated with it are adequate starting points to identify strategic European value chains and support the expansion of key technologies.