It is the globally unique combination of favourable attributes that makes Germany's chemical companies so successful.
No other nation exports more chemicals. In 2011, German chemical companies sold chemical products worth over 150 billion euros to customers abroad. With a share of 11.2 percent in the global chemical export market, Germany was the world export champion for the ninth consecutive time – followed by the USA (9.9), Belgium (7.4) and China (5.4). This was stated today by the German chemical industry association VCI at ACHEMA 2012 in Frankfurt.
From the VCI’s viewpoint, seven factors make particularly important contributions to the continually good position of German chemistry in international competition. Dr Utz Tillmann, the VCI’s director general, observes: “Our central role in the network of industries, innovative strength, intensive cooperation with science and the orientation of product strategies to megatrends and sustainability are decisive strong points for our industry. Add to this the diverse Mittelstand of small and mid-sized enterprises, a pragmatic social partnership and the success concept of chemical parks which is increasingly being put into practice also in other countries.” This combination of qualities is found nowhere else in the world, so Tillmann.
Regarding current economic risks to the industry location Germany, Tillmann points to the unpredictable development of raw material prices and the lasting uncertainty about the outcome of the EU debt crisis. According to Tillmann, the further course of the Energiewende – or energy transition – will have an enormous influence on the competitiveness of the chemical industry too. Tillmann emphasizes: “If electricity costs run wild in Germany for energy-intensive industries such as chemistry or steel – i.e. industries whose products make the energy transition possible in the first place – industry as a whole will be driven towards disaster. However, I am under the impression that both the federal government and the federal states are realizing how serious the situation really is.”