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BusinessEurope: Respond to protectionism with increased free trade

When China and the US turn towards protectionism, the EU must respond with increased free trade and better conditions for European industries in a number of key areas, says European business lobby group BusinessEurope.
Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope warns against protectionism. Foto: Business Europe.

Publiceret: 07.03.2018
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

“Made in China 2025.”

That is the name of a Chinese 2025-plan that, in very broad strokes, aims to reduce the country’s dependency on international imports.

In the US, President Donald Trump is working on a major investment plan for the country’s infrastructure that may end up with a “Buy American” provision.

But the response to these developments is not turning to protectionism in the EU, notes Emma Marcegaglia, President of the European industry organisation BusinessEurope.

“Protectionism will not make Europe’s industries stronger. Europe must remain an open market and resist inward-looking economic policies. But, if we want to stay competitive, we need to take into account the measures competitors like the US and China are taking to support their industries,” said Emma Marcegaglia in a speech during the EU Industry Day conference.

See also: Danish companies are digital front runners in Europe 

Digitalisation, research and education

On the day of the conference, BusinessEurope launched a campaign video highlighting the areas in which the organisation believes action is required in order to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness.

Among these are access to competitive energy prices, increased digitalisation, research and development, legislation, free trade and education.

Among the companies featured in the video are Danish FabricAir and Hovmand, who highlight increased free trade as being essential for their success. Austrian company Wienerberger highlights energy and digitalisation, while other European companies highlight other areas they consider essential for increased European economic success.

“The video touches upon many of the challenges and focus areas that are important in order for businesses in the EU to do well in the global competition. It is positive that European industries can come together around a proactive and internationally-oriented proposal rather than resorting to a protectionist response to the global challenges we are unfortunately seeing in other parts of the world. Now it is crucial that politicians take the recommendations seriously so that we can remain competitive,” says Director of European Affairs at the Confederation of Danish Industry Anders Ladefoged.

See also: Learn how to digitalise with LEGO bricks and VR glasses

Europe must remain an open market and resist inward-looking economic policies.
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PUBLISHED: 3/7/2018 LAST MODIFIED: 3/7/2018