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Lively debates at the parliamentary evening “Competitiveness: EU research project COMPETE“

14 October 2015 - On 29 September 2015, the COMPETE team discussed and debated the results of three years of research during the parliamentary evening "Competitiveness: EU research project COMPETE" in Berlin. The event was hosted by the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE), a partner within the COMPETE consortium.

After the welcoming address by Christoph Minhoff, Managing Director of BVE, Prof. Dr. Thomas Glauben, Director of the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), presented the main findings of three years of research. Despite the EU member states losing shares at the world agricultural market, the EU’s competitiveness is rated positive by all means. The high competitiveness of European agricultural and food industries results from an increase in product quality and productivity within EU value chains. However, he pointed out that these developments differ strongly from one EU member state to the other.  Growing divergence between EU states should be prevented. Amongst other things, pushing the technological modernization in Eastern European countries, using "spill-over" effects as well as strengthening the integration of EU single markets should be taken into action. Also, investments play an essential role for the future development of EU’s competitiveness in terms of agricultural and food production.

Afterwards, Dr. Wolfgang Ingold, Chairman of BVE, explained the view of the German food industry on their competitiveness. He emphasized the significance of the food industry as industrial sector. Within the German economy it is the fourth biggest by sales and the third biggest by employers. He amplified that one third of the market offers in Germany are new products confirming the sector’s innovativeness. Nevertheless new innovations have to be supported to claim world market shares or rather win these back. Therefore Dr. Ingold called on European and German politics to create basic conditions and incentives which support research and development facilitate access to important export and import markets and enable open competition. At the following flying buffet the lively debate was continued between speakers and guests from politics, economy and science.