German industry promotes open boarders

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, APA Chairman Dr. Hubert Lienhard, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So and BDI Vice president Ulrich Grillo (f.l.t.r) © APK Hong Kong

The Asia-Pacific region will remain an important growth market for German industry in the future. Therefore, German industries are concerned about the protectionist tendencies in the region. Ulrich Grillo, Vice president (BDI), emphazised that Germany’s response must not be its own isolation.

It is important that China and other countries continue to open up. Grillo highlighted this at the 15th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK), which was held in Hong Kong in November 2016. The APK was chaired by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel and the Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) Hubert Lienhard. More than 1000 high-ranking representatives from business and politics discussed how they could counter the increasing public objection against free trade. They also discussed how the advantages of open boarders could be communicated in a better manner.

The social acceptance of recent trends and developments played an important role in the discussions on the topics of digitalization and industry 4.0. Tom Enders (AIRBUS), Till Reuter (KUKA) and Clas Neumann (SAP) agreed that the digitalization of traditional manufacturing industries could only be implemented successfully if employees and consumers supported the process.

About the APK

The APK, held every two years since 1986, is a key forum for decision-makers in business and politics from the Asia-Pacific and Germany. The conference is co-organized by the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad in the Asia-Pacific region, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. This year’s guests included the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka as well as Ministers from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand.