On Tuesday evening, Dieter Kempf formally took over the presidency of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) from Ulrich Grillo. At the gala evening celebration of German industry, which was held in the presence of Federal President Joachim Gauck, Kempf said: "German industry will continue to play a responsible role in our society in the future. This is particularly important in these times of political unpredictability and uncertainty."
The new BDI president said that the western world is facing fundamental change under the new US president. An economically isolated United States would have a major impact on world trade.
"The consequences will be particularly serious for Germany as a leading export and import nation. But the companies and consumers in the US itself will be hardest hit. Let us work together to ensure that our American friends and allies recognize this risk in good time," Kempf urged the approximately 400 guests from industry, politics and society attending the event.
The BDI president said that in his position as federal president, Joachim Gauck has shown the German people "the immense value of living in freedom and of dealing openly with different world views and cultural and religious identities – and of being part of the peace project that is the European Union". He added that retreating into nationalism is the wrong path to take in the 21st century as it restricts people, ideas and products.
Kempf has been president of the BDI since 1 January. He has been appointed for a term of two years.