The current level of prosperity in Germany is not dictated by some “law of nature.” On the contrary, growth and international competitiveness require renewed attention. What is needed is a balance between environmental and social policies on the one hand, and industrial and economic policy on the other. The initiative of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs of placing industrial strategy at the top of the agenda therefore comes at the right time. An intensive discussion on the right strategic choices should be held soon. The automotive industry is happy to become involved in the dialog.
Companies are facing tough global competition. Germany has to be strengthened as an industrial location. Yet it is also clear that the state is not the better businessman. An active industry and location policy should provide effective impulses for innovation and investment, and create forward-looking, reliable regulatory conditions for both industry and the small and medium-sized enterprises. This should include a competitive tax system, for example, plus an affordable and secure energy supply and faster expansion of the analog and digital infrastructure.
Industry is a central pillar of economic growth, prosperity and jobs in our country. Manufacturing makes up the largest share – a good quarter – of gross value creation, and together with industry-related services it actually accounts for over one third. The automotive industry in particular, as one of Germany’s key sectors, makes a considerable contribution to gross industrial value creation.
Right now, the automotive companies are undergoing the most significant transformation in their history. German manufacturers and suppliers are themselves drivers of evolution. At the same time, however, politicians must give this change a smart and responsible framework, for instance by creating expedient and balanced regulations.
Furthermore, it is important to talk about how to specifically improve the regulatory conditions for our sector, for research and development, for production and innovation in Germany. Unfortunately the paper is too vague on these aspects. And it doesn’t say anything about how we will find the next generation of qualified employees. The entire Government should come up with very specific activities on these topics.