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Chemical companies moving abroad

For several years, the German chemical industry has been moving more and more company divisions abroad, especially those in research and development.

03 Oct. 2018
Chemical companies moving abroad (Photo: VDI)

A study of around 9,000 members of the VDI Society for Chemical and Process Engineering (GVC) reveals how strong this trend is. Just under 51% indicated that their company is already in the process, preparing or discussing relocation, which is an increase of around 11% compared with the survey in 2014.

However, differences can be seen in different areas. For example, planned or currently ongoing relocation of production is now at 64%, down 10% from 2014. A noticeable increase, however, can be seen in IT (25% to 33%), services (33% to 54%) and research and development (21% to 34%) – though research spending has reached the highest level in years and Germany is the fourth-largest research location in the world, behind the US, China and Japan. GCV chairman Dr. Claas-Jürgen Klasen attributes this relocation of R&D to reluctance to invest in innovative startups in Germany and to local product requirements abroad: In many threshold countries, research and development are sponsored by the government.