B20 Summit must send a signal against isolation

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Isolation and narrow national views are a growing danger for the industry and in particular for the German export nation. VDMA hopes for a strong signal in favor of free trade at the summit of the business representatives from 20 of the key industrial nations (B20) on May 2 and 3 in Berlin.

Isolation and narrow national views are a growing danger for the industry and in particular for the German export nation. VDMA hopes for a strong signal in favor of free trade at the summit of the business representatives from 20 of the key industrial nations (B20) on May 2 and 3 in Berlin. It is important that the business represents openness and international cooperation, particularly during periods of political unrest.

“In times of increasing populism, the business must take even more resolute action to ensure international cooperation and open markets. The B20 Summit has to send the clear message that free trade brings along significant benefits for the majority,” says Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA Executive Director. “Open markets secure jobs and prosperity, especially in Germany. Three of four products manufactured by German mechanical engineering companies are exported, at least 600,000 jobs in mechanical engineering depend on foreign business,” explains Brodtmann.

VDMA is concerned by the increasing protectionist developments that are also observed in Europe. The mechanical engineering industry fears that the UK’s exit from the EU will weaken Europe as a business location. VDMA believes that it is up to the UK to keep the discussions about its future relationship with the EU as objective as possible and not complicate them with unrealistic demands.

“The EU and the single market are the basis for the success of the European industry. It is not in anyone’s interest to jeopardize this achievement by making unilateral compromises as part of the Brexit negotiations. This must be obvious for the British people, too,” Brodtmann adds. “There are already strong doubts about whether two years is long enough to develop a comprehensive agreement between the EU and UK. It is also in the British interest not to further complicate the process with unrealistic demands.”