At the 2022 Industry Conference, Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated that the country will make a commitment to continue to be a strong industrial location even in the future, despite the fact that Germany faces challenges such as high energy prices, decreased competitiveness, shortages of skilled workers, or a high need for investment. However, these challenges threaten to push industry investments away from Germany. According to the minister of the Green Party, the manufacturing sector is extremely important to the process of transforming the economy into one that is digital, climate-neutral, and resilient. Habeck has stated that “we want to accomplish the European and national climate targets with the help of an efficient and competitive sector,” and he has also stated that “if we succeed, I am certain that we can emerge stronger from this crisis.”
The minister argued that the protection of Germany as an industrial location, the establishment of frameworks that enable industry to remain and manufacture in the country, and the acceleration of the purchasing of goods for future markets will be the primary topics of political debate and attention in the upcoming year. In October, Habeck’s ministry issued a warning that the ongoing energy crisis could lead to a recession in Germany. In addition, a survey conducted by the industry federation BDI among industrial companies found that 58 percent of them consider the price hike for energy and also for raw materials to be a “strong challenge,” and 34 percent of them even consider it to be an “existential challenge” that could ultimately force them out of business. This information was found among industrial companies.
“Policymakers must strengthen investments in the expansion of renewable energies and in the necessary transformation processes in industry, such as in the rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen economy,” said Siegfried Russwurm, president of the BDI. “These are two areas that are essential to the transformation of our economy,” he added. If Germany wants to remain an industrial powerhouse, it should become world leader in the renewable energy industry, IG Metall chairman Jörg Hofmann said. “We must take use of the opportunity presented by the energy crisis in order to speed up the energy transition. “He added that by delaying, postponing, and adjourning the meeting, we will not be able to manage the transformation. The administration has reached an agreement on a “defence shield” plan that will support homes and businesses that are having difficulty dealing with the high and rising cost of energy. In addition to these goals, it has presented a strategy to hasten the process of digitalization, hopes to improve energy efficiency, and plans to speed up the expansion of renewable energy sources.