Meeting for the first time, leaders of the key industry associations in the G8 nations gathered at the G8 Business Summit in Berlin. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) called the meeting in the run up to the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm this coming June.
Speaking before the industry representatives, Chancellor Merkel said the vision behind Germany’s G8 presidency focused on "growth and responsibility” which involved promoting economic growth and "applying the same standards to make globalisation more equitable”.
Merkel stressed that while increasing globalisation brings huge opportunities, it also harbours many risks. As has been shown, protectionism simply does not work. The international community must join forces in rising to the challenge of creating growth and wellbeing for as many people as possible. This means grasping the "new opportunities to be had from economic cooperation”.
Photo: REGIERUNGonline / Steins Merkel: We must grasp the opportunities of globalisationThe Chancellor and current G8 president is convinced that the globalisation process presents huge opportunities for emerging economies in particular. And many global problems like product piracy and climate change mitigation cannot be solved without them. This is why the world’s key emerging economies – Mexico, India, China and South Africa – are to attend a number of G8 consultations in Heiligendamm this June.
G8 Business Declaration
With their G8 Business Declaration, the industry associations called upon their governments to take political action on issues ranging from free trade and protecting intellectual property to climate change mitigation.
Chancellor Merkel said that in Heiligendamm the G8 would hold in-depth talks with the emerging economies, the aim being to develop joint strategies to combat product and brand piracy. The Chancellor said she was confident of achieving this aim.
Investing in innovation
The emerging economies are now wiser to the need to protect intellectual property, said Merkel. Copycat products and brand piracy are an increasing problem in their own countries, for without value creation their can be no innovation – and "innovation is the key to growth and wellbeing”.
Chancellor Merkel aims to achieve ongoing and balanced economic growth of two percent in the G8 nations. She sees market openness and transparency in trade as prerequisites in this endeavour: cross-border investment must be welcomed everywhere. The Chancellor also believes that markets can only operate freely in a democracy.
The German Chancellor sees joint action by the G8 and the international community as the only way forward, including in climate change activities. Merkel called for concerted action in tackling the risks associated with climate change: "Prevention up front is cheaper than dealing with the damage afterwards”. Also, the technologies needed to take such action provide new opportunities for growth in the global economy.