Brigitte Zypries auf der Industriekonferenz am 7. Februar 2017 in Berlin; Quelle: BMWi/Maurice Weiss Enlarge

© BMWi/Maurice Weiss

Today, the International Industry Conference is taking place in Berlin Westhafen. It is the second such conference that has been held within twelve months by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy together with the Alliance for the “Future of Industry”, the latter comprising 17 industrial and employers’ associations, trade unions and policymakers. In addition to Minister Zypries, the European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will also be a guest speaker at the event. At the heart of the conference is the Joint Declaration of the High-Level Group (HLG) of the Alliance for the “Future of Industry”. In the declaration, the Alliance advocates strong and close economic cooperation within the EU and calls for open markets and a value-based and equitable global trading system at international level.

Speaking about the event, Minister Zypries said: “The time has now come to strengthen Europe. Now more than ever, we need a Europe that is economically strong and socially just. This is vital if we want to speak with one voice in favour of open markets and fair trade at a global level. Europe will only be strong if it has a strong industrial sector. To achieve this, we need a forward-looking industrial policy that focuses on the opportunities held by digitalisation. The world is moving closer together through value chains, Industry 4.0 and digital trade. Not least for this reason are protectionism and isolationism the wrong way forward. We need to do more within the EU to make the case for a value-based, open and equitable global trading system.”

First Chairman of IG Metall Jörg Hofmann said: “Today’s International Conference that has been convened by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy together with the Alliance for “The Future of Industry” will send out an important message. In view of the current international political turbulence like Brexit and Trump, to name just two examples, it is necessary to jointly speak out against increasing political isolationism and renationalisation. Because this is not the right response to what are justified fears of many people due to the social implications of globalisation. In particular, we expect this year’s German G20 presidency to focus more strongly on the social dimension in the international political arena.”

Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), said: “Global trade is not a zero-sum game in which the winner takes it all and the loser takes nothing: if we work together, it will be a win-win for all. If we work against one another, it will reduce prosperity, jobs and progress everywhere in the world. Globalisation has been and continues to be key to world-wide prosperity and growth. However, globalisation also gives reason for criticism: it is therefore laudable that policymakers and the business community are developing compelling solutions to these challenges. Making sure everyone benefits from economic growth is vital to gain public acceptance for it. The Alliance is making an important contribution towards achieving this.”

You can find the declaration by the High-Level Group here. The programme of the conference is available here.

Further information about the Alliance (in German) is available at: www.buendnis-fuer-industrie.de.