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Business

German Industry Leader Calls for End to Subsidies

You don't get something for nothing, says Ludolf von Wartenberg, the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of German Industries. In an interview with the German daily Die Welt ahead of the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun in September, von Wartenberg is calling on EU members to reduce subsidies of all kinds: agrarian, export, and industry. "Agrarian customs should be considerably reduced, export subsidies should be done away with, and subsidies, in general, should be made trade neutral," said the top industry executive. He added that the recent EU decision on agrarian policy was a step in the right direction, but non EU farmers should have better access to European markets. What's the payoff for opening one's markets and doing away with protective policies? Von Wartenberg predicted good times ahead spurred by trade liberalization. He said that the world gross-national-product could increase by €531 million -- with the German share estimated at more than €26.6 million.