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Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck is joining with leading representatives of the “Future of Industry” Alliance to discuss measures to boost competitiveness at today’s 2023 Industry Conference. The debate will be rooted in the Industrial Strategy presented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action last week. It will focus on safeguarding the future of industry in Germany in the face of the major challenges: the geopolitical watershed, the deteriorating competitiveness, and the transition to climate neutrality. U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo will also attend the conference.
Federal Minister Robert Habeck said:
“Last week, we sketched out a political response to the major industrial policy challenges of our age in our Industrial Strategy. We want to maintain Germany as a strong industrial centre in all its diversity: from the global corporation to the hidden Mittelstand champion and the small enterprise. But we can only achieve this in tandem with the companies and their employees. We are therefore discussing how we can work together on reaching this goal today with trade unions, companies and business associations. The focus is on improving the business environment, reducing dependencies on autocrats, and the climate-neutral renewal of our industry. And because industrial policy always has to be approached in international terms, I am delighted that Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, is joining our debate today.”
Said Prof. Siegfried Russwurm, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI):
“Industry in Germany is facing the enormous challenges of decarbonisation, digitisation and demographic change. At the same time, the geopolitical and thus the geoeconomic parameters are undergoing a massive shift. The economic situation has been well analysed, the goals for the further development of our industry are basically uncontentious, and the necessary measures are obvious.
It is now up to government to implement the improvements in the policy environment, particularly in the shape of a competitive energy system for the future – not least with a joined-up power station strategy and, as a result of this, globally competitive energy prices. German industry offers the Economic Affairs Ministry and the entire Federal Government our cooperation on fleshing out the details and implementing the policies on the ground.”
Jürgen Kerner, Second Chair, German Metalworkers’ Union (IG Metall): “Thanks to strong collective agreements, those who work in industry generally benefit from a decent wage, a secure job and good working conditions. If that is to remain the case, we now urgently need to address the issues which have been ignored for too long: from the failure to expand renewable energy to the lack of charging stations, from the urgent need to clear out planning and permitting legislation to a forward-looking reform of German and European state aid rules and to improving the many instances of dilapidated infrastructure. In the short term, we will need a bridging electricity price to support our energy-intensive industry. The employees are ready to travel along the path to the transition. But they expect the entire Federal Government to now take the measures that are needed to keep our industrial sector strong. The Industrial Strategy presented by Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck is a good basis for this. The entire Federal Government must now quickly implement the measures that the minister responsible for this field has understood to be necessary.”
The Industrial Conference is organised in cooperation with the ‘Future of Industry’ alliance, which was founded in 2015. The alliance brings together 17 partners representing unions, industrial and employers’ organisations, the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The event is being attended by some 300 representatives from business associations, trade unions, companies, non-governmental organisations, embassies, academics and the Länder.