Europe needs manufacturing, manufacturing needs a better investment climate

“Europe needs manufacturing”, so said the President of the European Commission, Mr Barroso, at the Orgalime General Assembly last November. Now, Orgalime’s economists estimate that the engineering industries turnover value in the European Union (EU) reached some €1,840 billion in 2012. This represents some 28% of the total EU output. The number employed stood about 10.3 million people. Total trade (intra + extra trade) of the industry represented by Orgalime, reached €1,290 billion and the industry counts for a third of the exports of EU manufacturers. 

Whilst Mr Barroso reminded us that “Europe’s number of graduates in natural science and engineering, respectively account for 18% and 17% of the world's total”, one surprising statistic is that despite the contraction in output, it is estimated that employment actually increased in the European engineering industry during 2012, thereby reaching a preliminary estimate of 10.3 million people. After a brief glitch in 2009-10, employment has been steadily growing. Perhaps most importantly, all our sectors offer higher average gross wages and salaries in 2012 than in 2000. This can indeed be considered a great incentive for European graduates to stay in Europe. 

“Manufacturing is at the very heart of Europe's economy but despite these positive tones, the small and medium-sized enterprises which form the backbone of manufacturing output are still finding it difficult – if not impossible – in many countries to gain access to credit that is necessary for investment and the subsequent growth that investment would bring” commented Sandro Bonomi, President of Orgalime who added “and besides, for many companies, who have a long term investment horizon, the EU has become too unpredictable at the level of its regulatory framework.“

31 May, 2013
Press release

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