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© Getty Images/4X-image

Globalisation and innovation are taking place more quickly, and there is a clear trend towards state interventions and away from multilateral agreements. As a successful industrial economy, Germany needs to respond to these changes and proactively shape new developments.

Economic Affairs Minister Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier therefore presented on the draft of a National Industry Strategy 2030 on 5 February 2019. The draft develops the first coherent national and European industrial strategy which is rooted in fundamental considerations.

Objective

The Strategy’s core objective is to give a lasting boost to the competitiveness of the entire industrial sector in Germany and Europe and to consolidate and build on the technological lead enjoyed by Germany and the EU.

The Strategy is based on the tried and trusted principles of the Social Market Economy and defines the cases in which state intervention can exceptionally be justified or even required in order to avert serious disadvantages for the country’s economy and the well-being of the nation. The National Industry Strategy 2030 thus makes a contribution towards shaping a market economy which has a viable future.

Fields of action

A central field of action of the National Industry Strategy 2030 is the strengthening of key enabling technologies such as digitisation, artificial intelligence and battery cell manufacturing. Any company wishing to maintain its position in the face of competition will need to have mastery of and access to the new technologies.

The other main fields of action are:

  • strengthening industrial SMEs
  • mobilising more venture capital for risky investments
  • advocating open markets, more multilateralism (including a modernisation of the WTO) and a level playing field
  • promoting and maintaining access to and mastery of technologies
  • improving the general policy environment (e.g. energy prices, taxes, welfare charges)
  • revisiting state aid and competition law

European dimension of the National Industry Strategy 2030

The draft presented by Minister Altmaier envisages a strengthening of Europe’s industrial competitiveness in general. Industry has brought growth, prosperity and progress to Europe. A competitive industry is a core element of European commerce and thus part of the way forward towards a shared identity of a flourishing, social, sustainable and modern Europe.

Germany therefore supports the development of a long-term European industry strategy comprising concrete measures to maintain and permanently boost the competitiveness of European industry. It needs to be rooted in the national industrial strategies of the leading industrial nations in the EU.

Dialogue process

The Strategy is currently a draft document. The intention is to engage in a dialogue with industry, commerce, the trade unions, policy-makers and the Länder and discuss proposals to achieve a lasting strengthening of the competitiveness of the industrial sector.