Germans hit out at Asian governments intervening to save maritime firms

The German government has adopted a maritime agenda through to 2025, a move that has been welcomed by the nation’s shipyards and maritime technology companies.

The German Association for Shipbuilding and Marine Technology (VSM) said the move “emphasizes the outstanding importance of the maritime economy for the future” of the German economy. However, VSM took the opportunity to hit out at many Asian competitors whose governments have intervened – possibly against WTO rules – to save their maritime firms during the protracted downturn.

“Due to the high strategic importance of the maritime economy, many nations are reacting with market interventions of unimagined proportions and ever new protectionist measures. This also threatens the successful German shipbuilding industry. German companies, which are competing with know-how, innovations, new technology and the highest quality in competition, are becoming more and more frequent against the industrial policy of entire states and not just against individual companies,” VSM said the statement.

Dr Reinhard Lüken, managing director of VSM, said: “The decision of a maritime agenda by the federal cabinet sends an important signal to Germany. Together, in the coming months and after the Bundestag elections in September, we must ensure that we achieve the goal of a strong maritime economy for our country and ensure a suitable framework.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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