BDI President Keitel: focus on strength, not on crisis

07/16/2012

The President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Keitel, gave a speech on "Stability and Growth - A Perspective from German Business" on July 16th at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) in Washington D.C. He emphasized that Europe should again focus on its strengths and get less stuck on discussing the topic of "crisis". He noted that Germany and German industry both are currently economically well positioned. With more than 41 million people employed there are more consumers, more tax revenue, and welfare costs are lower. He also cited a positive relationship with the unions in Germany (video of Prof. Keitel's speech is provided on PIIE's website).

Germany is slated to grow at 1% this year, but it’s possible that in the long term that economic growth will slow. Aid to other Euro-countries will be more difficult then. Keitel stated that Europe needs to consolidate its budgets and focus on growth. In order not to lose their sovereignty, countries would have to try to be more independent from the forces of the financial markets. Project bonds are a good idea, but only feasible if real projects are identified. And possible projects are abundant in Europe.

The event was co-hosted by the Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT) and in cooperation with the German Embassy. Keitel had further meetings with U.S. Senator for Connecticut, Joe Lieberman; Jay Timmons, President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank Luis Alberto Moreno.