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Research & Technology

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
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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.