The European Union must diversify its trade relations, become less dependent on Asian suppliers in certain areas, and develop its value chains within the EU, Reuters reported referring to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that Europe needs to stick together and diversify its trade relationship, Altmaier said adding that this means that there should be no obstacles to the functioning of the EU internal market, and we must ensure more sustainable supply chains, the development of value chains within the EU and greater legal certainty in international trade.
With Germany currently holding the Presidency of the European Union, Altmaier will meet with other EU trade ministers, with a particular focus on global supply chains and the future of the European steel industry.
Altmaier said Europe should not abandon globalization, as trade and open markets remain powerful engines that can help lift Europe out of the current economic crisis. However, greater autonomy is needed, combined with the development of innovative and sustainable value chains in the EU, for Europe to play in the top league of economically successful regions of the world.
Asked whether Europe and Germany should reconsider their trade relations with China, Altmaier said everyone should recognize that trade can only work on a level playing field in the long run. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the free market in the European Union must also open the door for European companies, he said.