The European Union intends to reduce its dependence on imports of some major materials and products, especially from China and other Asian countries. As part of an updated industrial strategy, the European Commission today identified a set of strategic goods in whose production the member states of the European Union must be more self-sufficient. These include, for example, materials used in the production of medicines, semiconductors, and chemicals used in industry.
According to Brussels, the covidu-19 pandemic has exposed risks associated with an over-reliance on imports of drugs and other essential items that were in short supply at the time the borders were closed. In recent months, the Commission has analyzed 5,200 products imported by European Union countries, mainly from Asian countries. A total of 137 of them belong to strategically important sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, and the European Union, according to the analysis, is highly dependent on their imports. More than half of the imports in this group go to the European Union from China, and the share of other countries such as Vietnam and Brazil is not insignificant.
Last October, European Union leaders supported efforts to achieve so-called strategic autonomy, or union self-sufficiency, in the production of strategic products. Then they asked the committee to identify potential weaknesses and suggest solutions.
After analyzing it, the Commission intends to motivate EU companies to expand production in vital sectors. Planned activities include supporting public-private cooperation in the production of semiconductors or the production of technologies for storing cloud data.
“The real industrial revolution begins now if we direct the right investments into key technologies.Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said, adding that the new industrial strategy is also an opportunity to support European companies on the path to an environmentally friendly and digital economy, such as the extraordinary post-pandemic recovery fund.
According to the Commission, increased production in Europe could, among other things, create new jobs or restore economic growth. However, some critics warn that higher production of some materials may bring new environmental burdens. In their opinion, restricting cheap imports will result in more expensive products.
Source: Reuters, CTK
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