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Our CEO, Thorsten Gerber, says: “Europe, you are the world champion in creating restrictions and limitations. It would be far wiser to invest this energy in the realization of opportunities!”

While the United States has already seen initial success in combating the Corona pandemic and the economy closed 2020 with comparatively good market data, Europe is not getting off the ground.

Quo vadis Europe? USA already recording growth again
Quo vadis Europe? USA already recording growth again

Europe slumps by -5.1%

Europe saw a 0.7% decline in its GDP Growth Rate in the final quarter of 2020 and an overall -5.1% drop in its GDP Annual Growth Rate, according to data from Trading Economics.

According to Investing.com, initial estimates suggest that the EU region is heading for another, probably steeper, decline in the first quarter of 2021. Which is due to the lockdowns.

U.S. manages 4% GDP growth rate in Q4

The U.S., on the other hand, managed to hold its own halfway (Source) and drove a GDP Growth Rate of 4% in the last quarter of 2020. Congress in the United States is getting closer to passing its $1.9 trillion stimulus package. However, the EU Recovery Fund continues to be a long time coming.

EU lacks vaccines

The United States is also making much better progress in vaccinating against the Corona virus. The European Union has not even been able to order enough vaccines or get the pharmaceutical industry to make binding commitments. Even the British are doing better at vaccinating than mainland Europe.

Supply chains in Europe are overloaded

In addition, according to recent reports (Source), supply chains are experiencing increasingly serious problems. Small and medium-sized companies in particular are no longer able to import. Because there is simply a lack of transport capacity and containers. In addition, prices are skyrocketing and the large retail chains and manufacturers are given preferential treatment by logistics providers.

EU steel producers want to close the borders even more

In summer 2021, the European Commission’s Safeguard measures against steel imports will expire. Already now, the European mills and the associated 12 EU states are at work with their lobby association Eurofer to torpedo the WTO-mandated end of the three-year Safeguard measures.

The steel processing industry with the Eurometal association at its head has already reacted to this, but whether this will be heard in Brussels – we do not know. European protectionism and fear seem to have become too great.

Material shortage result of protective measures and Corona

Materials and raw materials are in short supply everywhere. The processing metal industry can no longer meet its needs with local steel production. Prices for steel or stainless steel and delivery times are shooting through the roof. In some cases, steel products will no longer be available before fall 2021.

And the EU’s Safeguard measures and anti-dumping duties are doing their bit to put even more obstacles, if not already mountains, in the way of European industry.

It is also economically and politically difficult to demand market openings from other countries in return for closing European import borders to other nations.

Europe: Identify opportunities now and use them

Our CEO, Thorsten Gerber, says: “Europe, you are the world champion in creating restrictions and limitations. It would be far wiser to invest this energy in the realization of opportunities!”

Europe has had severe, if not catastrophic, setbacks to its economic strength in the Corona Pandemic. Many member states are still in lockdown. Real ways out are not yet emerging. European and national politics seem helpless and panic-stricken.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With consistent measures against Covid-19

But this is exactly the time to seize and use opportunities. Let’s look at countries such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China or Taiwan – all of which are flourishing economies or economies that are once again on the upswing. Which have come through the Corona pandemic with consistent measures. Or even turned the corner despite Covid-19.

Take your chances Europe. Finally start presenting solutions. Protect your people from the virus. But open your markets. Protectionism will not save us. Invest in opportunities!

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