Ulrich Reifenhäuser, rotating chairman of the German Plastics Industry Federation (WVK), said: “This recovery has turned out far better than the industry consensus predicted 12 months ago, and the positive trend in the second half of 2010 in particular took many market participants by surprise. The rather cautious estimates dating back to the middle of the year were overtaken by events.”
“German plastics industry in the face of global competition”: this was the motto of the WVK Board meeting in Frankfurt.
Members see plastics as motors of innovation with long-term global opportunities for growth. The material offers sustainable solutions for the challenges facing the world, such as population growth, climate change, shortages of energy and resources or the availability of medical advances.
Comprising some 7,100 firms with a total workforce of around 415,000 and sales in the region of 95 billion euro in 2010, the German plastics industry takes a positive view of Germany as a technological base. Its infrastructure and general regulatory framework have helped to make German industry an engine for the sector in Europe and well placed to meet the challenges of global competition.
“The German plastics industry has emerged from the crisis as a more potent force and is facing global competition with optimism,” says Ulrich Reifenhäuser, summarising the outcome of the talks. “Sales at some of the industry’s companies have returned to pre-crisis levels more quickly than expected and a few of them are recording even faster growth. Many firms in the plastics industry have full order books; production and employment for the weeks and months ahead are secure.” All subsectors of the industry are investing, with the focus on creating new capacity. Surveys at the start of the year show a great deal of optimism.