Economic Affairs exchanged views on the current with representatives of more than 40 business associations via video link today. The talks focused on the question to what extent the individual sectors have been affected by the ongoing restrictions and on the Federal Government’s support programmes. In addition, the participants discussed the issues of vaccination and testing.
After the video conference with the associations, Minister Altmaier said: "I want to thank all participants for the constructive exchange of views. Unfortunately, the pandemic situation continues to be very serious and the overall economic recovery depends on the development of infection rates. While industry has been coping fairly well with the crisis, the services sector, trade and further industries continue to suffer severely from the ongoing restrictions. The new equity grant is an important additional aid for particularly hard-hit companies. In addition, we have further improved the conditions.
One thing is clear: rapid progress on vaccinations and widespread testing are decisive in this phase of the pandemic so that all sectors of the economy can recover. As regards testing, companies have a major role to play, and they are living up to their responsibilities. In the last few weeks, enterprises have offered considerably more tests to their employees. I very much welcome this. Testing at an early stage can contribute to detecting infections earlier and more often and to preventing additional infections."
This was the fifth exchange of views between Federal Minister Altmaier and a broad range of business associations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last talks took place on 16 February 2021. In addition to the umbrella associations of German business, the participants included associations representing SMEs, family-run enterprises and the liberal professions as well as numerous associations of individual sectors, e.g. of trade and the logistics, hospitality, events, tourism and travel industries.