I am Markus Asch, Vice Chairman of cleaning equipment manufacturer Kärcher and President of EUnited, the association representing leading engineering equipment suppliers in Europe. Our members are predominately SMEs from diverse industry sectors including Municipal Equipment, Cleaning and Vehicle Cleaning equipment, Metallurgy, Robotics and Valves and represent around 10 billion euros of trade each year.
2013 was a very dynamic year for us and one where we started to see better recognition of manufacturing in Europe. Re-industrialisation is the new buzz word. For manufacturing companies, it's about investment in manufacturing and the real economy and promoting innovation in the manufacturing supply chain. This investment is now being directed towards existing manufacturers and innovators, not only in academic research and the digital economy. Existing manufacturers after all make up the backbone of the current European economy, and they are by far the most important source and lever for employment.
2014 is already opening new doors. As a founder member of SPIRE for the process industry we were instrumental in creating a roadmap for global competitiveness and future sustainability signed on 17th of January in Brussels. Our participation in the high level group of the Key Enabling Technologies has given us another avenue to represent the views of our industry sectors. The KETs will be providing recommendations to the industry council in March 2014. This is about improving conditions and restoring confidence, stimulating growth and making sure we attract investment to manufacturing, generating employment and producing industrial as well as consumer goods in a more energy and resource efficient manner.
We look forward to further partnerships with the EU institutions and industry partners to promote manufacturing competitiveness.
Learn more about EUnited: http://www.eu-nited.net/