Chemical industry outlines action to restore edge to the market

A period of major turmoil and incertitude could transform into a new paradigm for the European chemical industry, the industry body Cefic was told at its annual economic conference in Brussels this week.

The chemicals industry association set out its long term plans for competitiveness

The chemicals industry association set out its long term plans for competitiveness

Members of the European Chemical Industry Council set out their first ever long term perspective for the industry's future in Europe entitled 'Chemical Industry 2015'. The body also proposed the set up of a Chemical Advisory Group for Europe, involving major stakeholders to set an agreed vision for the European Chemical Industry in Europe, and to develop a 'common, measurable action plan'.

Cefic has in the past voiced opposition to the European proposals for the regulation, evaluation and accreditation of chemicals (REACH), which was given further impetus at last week's Environmental Council meeting (see related story). It has in the past called for a full evaluation of the effects on the economy and a fast and simple cost-efficient procedure for chemicals regulation, so as not to stifle competitiveness of the industry (see related story).

Francois Cornelis, Cefic Vice President said at the conference: "The chemical industry has suffered a significant decline in its profitability since the year 2000 and has entered into a period of turmoil and major incertitude. What looked initially like a typical cyclical downturn may be the sign of a new paradigm for the European chemical industry."

The 2015 study gives various scenarios in key driving areas such as research and development and regulation. It finds that the competitiveness of the industry is now at risk and calls for urgent action to secure improvement.

Mr Cornelis concluded: "Our vision is one of progress and innovation, our mission is one of positively restructuring our industry, and our commitment is to take the right decisions and actions in association with public authorities."

By Sorcha Clifford



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