Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 30

P
lastics move the world: physi-
cally as an essential component
of most modes of transport, sports
equipment and medical products, and
emotionally as an indispensible
material in all modes of eye-catching
modern design – including some film
stars. Plastics could save the world
too; if the EU and Germany are to
achieve their climate goals they will
need a strong plastics industry to do
so. Electric cars, solar cells, wind
turbines, aircraft, building insula-
tion… all these and countless more
industrial applications rely in part on
plastics’ lightweight durability. We
are moving into the plastic age.
Germany is becoming Europe’s
plastics industry centre. Foreign
companies, such as Israeli automo-
tive component company Arkal
Automotive, Chinese chemical
company Honshu or Japanese
synthetic fiber company Kuraray,
are moving in despite the prospect
of stronger business growth in Asia
than in Europe in the coming years.
Germany ranks first in Europe as a
destination for foreign direct
investments in the plastics industry,
having been the location of choice
for a total of 182 projects since
2003, with the USA as the biggest
source of investment in terms of
number of projects, according to
research by Germany Trade &
Invest. Germany is also Europe’s
biggest plastics production location
and plastics market, accounting for
around a third of total European
output and a quarter of total
European demand. Its share of
global production amounts to seven
percent. Sixty-five percent of all
investments in plastics in Germany
are manufacturing and research and
development projects.
By Peggy Görlitz, Germany Trade and Invest
G T A I I N D U S T R Y T A L K
Plastic Age
Dawns on Germany
German American Trade Sep/Oct 2013
30
Industrial Clusters and Research
Culture put Germany at the Top of Investors’ Lists
Amazingly efficient and fit for wide-ranging high-tech applications: plastics are widely
considered the material of the 21st century. One case in point is Kerdyn© (above), an innovative
structural foam invented by German chemicals giant BASF that is used in wind turbines.
Photo credit: BASF SE
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