Securing free trade

At the VDMA General Assembly on November 10 and 11, 2016 in Berlin, working group 1 will discuss what policy makers and the mechanical engineering sector can do to secure free trade.

Various studies from institutions such as the ifo-Institute prove that free trade agreements offer significant economic advantages for member countries. Free access to the global market is the key to competitiveness – particularly for German medium-sized companies in mechanical and plant engineering. Companies and policy makers should work towards ensuring that free trade is possible worldwide. For this, policy makers are required to create the right framework for a free exchange of goods. Thus, Germany as a strong exporting country needs to advocate an extensive liberalization on all levels.

The strategy of the EU Commission

At the VDMA General Assembly 2016 in Berlin, decision-makers from both the government and business come together in working group I “Ensuring free trade – What can policy makers and the mechanical engineering sector do?”. A representative of the European Union, who is responsible for trade policies, will present the EU Commission’s new trade strategy. Company representatives and representatives of European politics will discuss how free trade can be safeguarded in the future, while audience surveys are to capture the mood among the participants.

Bilateral agreements in the spotlight

The European Union aims to extend its network of bilateral agreements with important partner countries. Discussions with Mercosur, the joint South American market, and India are to be resumed in the second half of the year. Furthermore, initiatives with New Zealand and other countries are to begin soon.

But discussions on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have shown that the government must provide a detailed description of the consequences of free trade and
communicate them in an open dialog.

Strategy adaptation necessary

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr from the ifo-Institute in Munich will illustrate significant challenges to the capital goods industry in Germany based on future developments in international trade. The companies will be forced to adapt their strategies to the constantly changing market conditions in order to remain successful in the long run.



Ulrich Ackermann
+49 69 6603 1441

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