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EC outlines plan to raise manufacturing to 20% of EU GDP
11
Oct '12
Europe needs to reverse the declining role of industry for the 21st century with the aim to deliver sustainable growth, create high-value job and solve societal challenge that we face. Immediate action should contribute to reverse the current downward trend from its current level of 15.6% of EU GDP to as much as 20% by 2020.

Therefore the Commission proposes a number of priority actions to stimulate investments in new technologies, to improve the business environment, to access to markets and to finance, particularly for SMEs, and ensure that skills meet industry’s needs.

Europe's industry is well placed to assume this role: Europe is a world-leader in many strategic sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Industry still accounts for 4/5 of Europe's exports and 80% of both Europe's exports and of private sector R&D investment comes from manufacturing.

If confidence comes back, and with it new investments, Europe's industry can perform better and start growing again. This is the core message of a communication tabled by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani in Brussels. The actions proposed by this Communication should also contribute to reduce competiveness gap across Member States and EU regions.

European Commission (EC) Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "We cannot continue to let our industry leave Europe. Our figures are crystal clear: European industry can deliver growth and can create employment.

“Today we tabled the conditions for the sustainable industry of the future in Europe, to develop the investments needed in new technologies and to rebuild a climate of confidence and entrepreneurship. By working together and restoring confidence, we can bring back industry to Europe."

The Commission has also adopted two reports on Competitiveness: the New Industrial Performance Scoreboard on the Member States which looks at five key areas: manufacturing productivity; export performance; innovation and sustainability; business environment and infrastructure; and finance and investment (MEMO/12/760); and the European Competitiveness Report 2012 (MEMO/12/761) which analyses the main globalisation trends in the last 15 years and the implied costs and benefits and the challenges ahead for EU businesses.

Lack of confidence triggers lack of investment

Market uncertainty, financing problems, lack of demand and skills shortages triggered lack of confidence which in turn triggered lack of investment and job losses in industry.

Pillars of the reinforced industrial policy are:

Investments in innovation - providing the right framework conditions for investments, to rapidly return to pre-crisis levels, with a focus on six priority areas, with enormous potential for growth and jobs in Europe: advanced manufacturing technologies for clean production, key enable technologies, bio-based product markets, sustainable industrial policy, construction and raw materials, clean vehicles and vessels and smart grids. Member States as well should play their part and should prioritise investments in these six areas.

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