Free Trade Creates More Prosperity for Everyone

© Rudolf Staudigl

Wacker Chemie AG achieves more than 80 percent of its turnover outside Germany. Thereof, the bulk is generated in the G20 member countries. The G20 is essential to ensure free and rule-based trade and to promote foreign direct investment, emphasizes Wacker Chemie’s President and CEO Rudolf Staudigl in the following interview. Particularly small and medium enterprises would benefit from a reduction of trade barriers, Staudigl says.

How significant are the G20 countries for your company?

We are a globally active chemical company with worldwide operations, generating well over 80 percent of our turnover outside Germany. The G20 states are among our most important sales markets. Furthermore, we have large production sites in many of these countries, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. I am convinced that, as a forum for consultation and cooperation between the large economies, the G20 can make important contributions to overcoming global challenges, not least in the sphere of economic and trade policy.

What do you expect from the G20 Presidency?

It is essential that the G20 succeeds in making further progress on issues related to free trade. Free trade creates more prosperity for everyone. Doing away with tariffs and red tape in custom clearance, harmonizing legal regulations and product standards, establishing legal certainty for foreign direct investment – all of these measures help further raise the citizens’ living standards in G20 member countries. I hope that this path will continue to be followed under Germany’s G20 Presidency, too.

In the B20, you are chairing the cross-thematic working group “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises”. What are your top priorities?

All over the world, small and medium-sized enterprises are key drivers of economic growth, employment, and innovation. To ensure that they can continue to perform this task in the future, I think it is important to improve their access to global value chains as well as to funding opportunities and digitalization. Free trade is a particularly effective lever also in this context.

Rudolf Staudigl is President and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG. He heads the B20 Cross-thematic Group Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.