Change through trade works
Letter to Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development: Polemic against associations and companies is a distorted picture of reality
Global trade has brought about enormous progress in developing and emerging countries in recent decades. This can be demonstrated by many key figures such as gross national product, increase in life expectancy or decrease in extreme poverty. The mechanical engineering industry in Germany therefore strongly resists the picture drawn by Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller in a newspaper interview, according to which exploitation, slavery and enrichment at the expense of the poorest still characterize the development in these countries. In a letter to the Minister, VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker emphasises: "The principle of 'change through trade' is working. This is why your ministry has repeatedly encouraged us machine and plant manufacturers to invest in the poorest countries. It is inexplicable to me that a German development minister, of all people, should take such a negative view of this commitment.
"The principle of 'change through trade' works. This is why your ministry has repeatedly encouraged us machine and plant manufacturers to invest in the poorest countries.
In the same newspaper interview, Minister Müller also paints a picture of associations and companies that oppose the enforcement of human rights. In the opinion of the mechanical engineering industry, such polemics are counterproductive. "The distorted image of companies that you convey simply does not correspond to reality," explains Welcker. In fact, medium-sized industry is not defending itself against human rights, but against the planned Supply Chain Act, because it "ignores the causal chain between responsibility and liability and therefore neither creates legal certainty nor helps with human rights," writes the VDMA President. The appeal of the mechanical engineering industry to the development minister is therefore: "Let us work together on a sensible law, because we also share your intention to promote human rights in this world".
You can read the complete letter of the VDMA President to the German Development Minister Gerd Müller here and as download (only German).