04/16/2012 | Editor: Dominik Stephan
The dramatic changes of the global economy during the past decade are also mirrored in the development of process component manufacturers: China has become the number 2 in process automation and measurement systems. But while some industrialised countries have lost big market shares to the Asian competition, others were able to grow...
While the US market share has decreased by more than one third to 24% in 2010, China has replaced Japan as the second biggest producer of process automation and measurement components. Great Britain, formerly with a share of six percent of the automation market, is no longer along the top 5 producers, recent figures indicate. From 2000 to 2010 on, the market for these components grew form US $ 105 billion to US $ 118 billion.
The emerge of new markets in Asia does nevertheless not automatically mean a loss of importance for traditional economies, as the German electrical engineering association ZVEI underlines. Recent figures show that economies such as France or Germany were able to defy the trend, gaining even additional market shares: In 2010, France accounted for 6% of the global automation and measurement components output (compared to 4% in 2000) while Germany has remained the third biggest producer (after the US and China) with 10% (7% in 2000). "Growth in Asia does not mean it is impossible to grow in fully developed markets," ZVEI speakers said.
These economies now expects a further, yet cautious growth for 2012: With growth rates of around 1% for the German chemical industry, 2012 could nevertheless see record figures, Dr. Utz Tillmann of the chemical industry association VDMA states. He underlined the importance of the chemical industry as a pacemaker of development and innovation, especially because of its role as a supplier of other industrial branches such as automotive, paints and coating or material engineering. Tillmann called upon European policy makers to provide an innovation friendly framework to face also future challenges.
Currently, especially the high oil price and the political tension in the Middle East worries the industry. "The industry needs a safe and affordable energy supply," Tillmann stated. But also the European sovereign debt crisis and the demographic change in several Western economies is regarded with great concerns.
The importance of a sustainable energy management are also underlined by recent figures of Roland Berger, according to which a US $ 10 million investment in energy efficiency can bring savings of about US $ 42 million until 2050 for the chemical industry.
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