Our mandate. Our mission statement. Our Assignments.

Dieter Kempf at the BDI General Assembly © Christian Kruppa

Industry plays an outstanding role for Germany’s prosperity. Almost a quarter of Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) is generated by German industry. If industry-related services are included, this figure rises still further to around a third of GDP. Germany is and remains an industrial nation. Together with industry-related services, industry is the core driver of growth in our economy. So we are well equipped for the future.

The BDI conveys the interests of German industry to the political decision-makers and in the process it provides support for business enterprises engaged in global competition. The BDI has at its disposal a widely branching network in Germany and Europe, in all important markets and in international organizations. The BDI takes care of the political flanking of international market opening. And it offers information and economic policy consultations for all topics related to industry.

Our mandate

We are the voice of German industry

The BDI is the umbrella organization of German industry and industry-related services. It speaks for 36 trade associations and more than 100,000 enterprises with around 8 million employees. Membership is voluntary. 15 organizations in the regional states represent the interests of industry at the regional level.

We take an active part in the democratic process

Pluralistic democracy functions only when diverse opinions in civil society are articulated in the will-finding and decision-finding process. It is only in the competition for ideas that the best solutions are found for our communal life. That is why the BDI is an indispensable actor in civil life – and an important force for reform in social policy. Industry and industry-related services see themselves as part of society and wish to play their part in shaping the necessary discussions on social policy.

We are intermediaries between industry and society

The BDI represents the interests of very varied branches of industry and industry-related services vis-à-vis NGOs, civil society and academic institutions. In explaining how business works, the BDI highlights the impact economic policy has on society. Our guiding principle is: the BDI serves industry – and industry serves people.

Our mission statement

We are in favour of international competitiveness

Industry forms the foundations of the German economy – and is crucial for the competitiveness of our country. Prosperity in Germany depends to a great extent on developments in the global economy. Internationally competitive enterprises serve to guarantee that Germany as an industrial nation benefits from globalization.

Our industry is future

German industry is in the vanguard for research and development, innovations and exports. This is how enterprises and Germany stand their ground in international competition. Europeanization, internationalization and digitization work to accelerate all the various developments in the economy and an attractive location like Germany has to adapt to them.

We are committed to higher and more sustainable growth

With regard to its growth potential the German economy is far from realizing its full potential. Investment in education, research, innovation and jobs are the key, not only to higher but also to more sustainable growth. Here we are also committed to ecological and social standards in global chains of value creation.

We are in favour of the social market economy

The social market economy is the basic guiding principle of the BDI, featuring open markets, functioning competition, along with justice with regard to opportunities and assessment of performance. The state must not over-regulate. Its task is to make our location more attractive with favourable overall conditions in economic policy.

Our assignments

We are opinion-leaders and communicators

The BDI has the task of protecting and promoting all the joint concerns of the branches of industry united in the Federation. It enters into political discourse at an early stage. It raises issues, compiles differentiated views, creates a balance of interests in the alliance with its member associations and thus offers policy-makers positions adopted by industry that are coordinated and representative. That is an indispensable process for democratic decision-making.

We are service providers

The BDI offers information and economic policy consultations on all issues relevant for industry, thus granting support for enterprises engaged in global competition. The BDI has a wide-ranging network in Germany and Europe, on all important markets and international organizations. It helps to provide political accompaniment in questions of the opening of markets internationally. And it deals with issues not suited to being considered in individual enterprises, ranging from municipal finances to corporate governance, from TTIP to European integration and world trade rounds.

We are political consultants and explainers of industry

The BDI has a reputation as a centre of competence for economic policy in Federal Germany. It has a unique combination of expert knowledge. This knowledge is pooled by volunteers from the business world, committed enterprises, member associations and regional representations, and staff members in Berlin, Brussels, London, Tokyo and Washington. This grants the BDI legitimacy as a practical consultant and adviser for the politicians.

We shape political discourse

The BDI measures the success of its work by the degree to which its positions are implemented in political reality. It maintains contact with heads of government and EU commissioners, with political parties, parliaments and ministers, with academics and diplomats. The credibility of the BDI is founded on non-party, objective and scientifically-based arguments. The channels through which the BDI communicates with the politicians are transparent.