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Machinery and plant engineering industry feels slight tailwind
Four out of five mechanical engineering companies will see a drop in sales in 2020 despite a strong end of the year. According to the latest VDMA flash survey, however, the outlook for the future is cautiously positive: slight sales growth is in sight for 2021.
"Do not put off a new start for trade relations with the USA!"
Honesty and reliability will return to the White House with US President Joe Biden. The new start for transatlantic trade relations should therefore not be put off any longer.
Mechanical engineering expands share of home office – but production must not be jeopardised!
In the mechanical engineering industry, more and more people are working from home. However, production in the factory halls must not be jeopardised by a home office requirement. Health protection and industrial production can go hand in hand.
Cautious sigh of relief
In November 2020, companies from Germany recorded growth in orders from within Germany as well as from abroad for the first time since the beginning of the reporting year.
"Georgia Senate elections are an important victory for US President Biden".
The chaotic scenes from the US Capitol are harrowing. Nevertheless, the outcome of the Senate elections in the state of Georgia is an important success for Joe Biden. The new administration can now more easily implement its ambitious election promises - a more predictable trade policy can be expected.
VDMA: EU investment agreement with China can be an important milestone
The EU's investment agreement with China is expected to bring improvements in market access as well as a leveling of the playing field for European companies. It will be particularly important that the Chinese commitments can be enforced, if necessary.


The expansion figures for onshore wind for the full year 2020 were published today.
Confidence of significant sales increase for 2021 prevails at online press conference
Since 2013, negotiations on an EU free trade agreement with India have been frozen. It is high time to revive these talks.
The increasingly resurgent calls for border closures within the EU must be buried as a matter of urgency. Border closures in the internal market would have unforeseeable consequences.
The home office regulation issued by the Federal Minister of Labor, Hubertus Heil bears the expiration date of March 15. This must be adhered to in any case. An unlimited right to home office that restricts operational freedoms must not be introduced through the back door.
Even in times of Corona, machine manufacturers have to fulfill their social responsibility and to maintain production. A legal home office requirement with fines would therefore be absurd.
Unemployment must not be allowed to become entrenched again. Policymakers must therefore lower the hurdles that make new employment more difficult. This includes refraining from further legal intervention in temporary work and contracts for work and services.
After years of negotiations on a trade agreement on the UK's exit from the EU, the parties reached an agreement at the last minute. From the perspective of the mechanical engineering industry, this is an important signal for all companies on both sides of the channel.
The government coalition's self-praise for the amendment of the Renewable Energy Act is only partially justified. Without a comprehensive reform of taxes, levies and charges, a sustainable restructuring of the energy system will not work.
"Made in China 2025" leads to intensified competitive pressure in mechanical and plant engineering. A new study examines various scenarios up to the year 2030. Companies in Europe can continue to benefit from the upswing in the People's Republic, but there is a growing danger of falling exports to the Far East.
After the global turnover slump of an estimated 6 percent this year, a turnover growth of 7 percent is predicted for 2021.
Despite the pandemic, the vast majority of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are sticking to their plans for training and dual studies. For university graduates, the situation has eased slightly compared to May despite the ongoing difficult situation.
From January to October 2020 only 3 percent year-on-year decline in incoming orders - October 2020 brings strong increase in incoming orders - Companies have adapted well to the challenges
The increase of the greenhouse gas reduction planned by the EU is coherent. However, industry needs room for manoeuvre; only an open-technology approach can ensure the rapid deployment of the necessary innovations by 2030.
Companies need an exit strategy from the political arena in order to get out of the Corona crisis in the long term. A lockdown for the manufacturing industry would exacerbate the crisis situation.
The transformation to sustainable industrial production offers new market opportunities - The members of the VDMA Large Industrial Plant Manufacturers' Group expect global project volumes to increase in 2021.
In the third quarter, incoming orders for solar equipment manufacturers reach level of the beginning of the year. Sales are expected to stabilize in the fourth quarter. China, the most important export market, is growing again.
The picture has changed for the machinery and plant manufacturers in China, with business estimates positive again for the first time since autumn 2018. However, travel restrictions remain a major obstacle.
Industry needs innovation-friendly conditions for the use of artificial intelligence. There must not be an overregulation of AI in production.
Domestic business remains stable in 2020 I Megatrend health provides business opportunities I Moderate outlook for 2021
On 25 November 2020, the EU-Commission published a proposal for a Regulation on European data governance. Among other things, it provides for a notification obligation and requirements for "data exchange providers".
Domestic demand stable despite Corona I Manufacturers focus on digitization I Decline in sales expected for 2021
One year after the conditions for awarding contracts for local industrial and agricultural mobile radio networks came into force, almost 90 applications have already been received by the Federal Network Agency.
Rückblick 2020 - Ausblick 2021
Die Maschinen- und Anlagenbauer haben während der Pandemie die Produktion immer am Laufen gehalten. VDMA-Hauptgeschäftsführer Thilo Brodtmann ist zuversichtlich, dass 2021 für die Unternehmen besser laufen wird als Corona-Jahr.
Karl Haeusgen: Annual press conference 2020
The mechanical engineering industry has kept ist head up during these difficult times of the pandemic. The VDMA has raised its production forecast for 2021 from plus 2 to plus 4 percent. And the picture could brighten even further if tensions in world trade would ease. VDMA President Karl Haeusgen looks at the upcoming year with cautious optimism.
Rückblick 2020 - Ausblick 2021
Die Maschinen- und Anlagenbauer haben während der Pandemie die Produktion immer am Laufen gehalten. VDMA-Hauptgeschäftsführer Thilo Brodtmann ist zuversichtlich, dass 2021 für die Unternehmen besser laufen wird als Corona-Jahr.
Karl Haeusgen: Annual press conference 2020
The mechanical engineering industry has kept ist head up during these difficult times of the pandemic. The VDMA has raised its production forecast for 2021 from plus 2 to plus 4 percent. And the picture could brighten even further if tensions in world trade would ease. VDMA President Karl Haeusgen looks at the upcoming year with cautious optimism.

Must Reads

The jury has decided: Four universities will have the chance to be named "Best Machine House 2019" at the award ceremony on 29 October 2019 in Berlin. You are already guaranteed 20,000 euros in prize money.
With this monitoring, the Federal Government would like to obtain a comprehensive evaluation of the state of implementation of human rights due diligence by companies based in Germany.
Joint project of VDA and VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association +++ First phase of development in final phase and available online
On the occasion of the Day of German Unity, in|pact media Verlag publishes a special publication "Zukunft Deutschland - Innovationen, Technologien, Chancen" in the Handelsblatt.
Since Brussels is unlikely to provide any rapid bureaucratic relief when applying for the A1 certificate, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) has published a recommendation on the "Handling of the A1 certificate for short-term and short-term activities in other EU countries, the EEA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as well as Switzerland" on the Internet.
Cybersecurity needs further legislation to allow the Internal Market to make an effective contribution to digitisation.
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on 14.05.2019 that Member States must oblige employers to set up a system to measure daily working time (ECJ, judgment of 14.05.2019 - C-55/18).
Many members ask themselves the following question: Is it really possible that an A1 certificate is required for a short business trip in Europe? The answer is simple, short and unsatisfactory: Yes!
Wide range of information and mediation services with demonstrators at Hannover Messe 2019
Do Europe and Germany need more state industrial policy to survive between the USA and China? VDMA Vice President Karl Haeusgen sets clear accents in the ZDF programme "Maybritt Illner".
Companies should prepare in time for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The VDMA has compiled checklists for its members.
From 1 January 2021 at the latest, importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from risk areas - so-called conflict minerals - into the EU will be subject to binding due diligence obligations.
An employee's entitlement to paid annual leave usually expires at the end of the calendar year only if the employer has previously informed him of his specific holiday entitlement and the expiry periods and the employee has not taken the holiday of his own free will. This was decided by the Federal Labour Court in its judgment of 19.02.2019 (Case No. 9 AZR 541/15).
As part of the initiative "Maschinenhaus - Plattform für innovative Lehre", we offer as a prize the 4th VDMA University Prize. With this award we would like to honour outstanding teaching concepts which stand for more academic success and thus set an example for the importance of teaching.
The European Commission regards environmental and social standards as an essential part of its economic policy. This offers opportunities for mechanical engineering companies - but also the danger of additional requirements.
Approximately 7,100 companies are currently being contacted by the Federal Government and informed about the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP), with which they are to exercise human rights due diligence along their supply chain.
Despite (still) rising student numbers in computer science, the high drop-out rates are a cause for concern. In order to meet the demand for IT specialists in industry 4.0, the quality of teaching must be further improved. The VDMA nacelle initiative is committed to this and will include the field of computer science in the next project phase.
The regulations of the Basic Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) to be observed since 25.05.2018 have caused the members of the VDMA some effort in the implementation of the requirements.
In view of the challenges posed by digitisation, the VDMA calls for the urgently overdue reform of the Working Hours Act.
The USA is the most important export market and investment location for the German mechanical and plant engineering industry. At the same time, German companies with capital goods enable the development and modernization of American industry. In politically tense times of transatlantic relations, the EU and the US should strive for a lean free trade agreement and, at the same time, a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO). With 164 members, the WTO is the best platform for creating competition and free trade.
Mechanical engineering industry regains strength
Companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector will close the crisis year 2020 with significant negative rates, but these will not be as severe as expected.
Video series "Young Professionals for Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering offers young professionals many attractive jobs and career development opportunities. The VDMA has produced a video series on this subject with member companies - four exciting clips have been created that whet the appetite for more.
Tax research promotion: How does the new instrument work?
The Research Allowance Act came into force on 1 January 2020. Here you can find out who benefits from the new tax incentives, what you have to take into account and how the VDMA will support you with this type of subsidy.
Humans – Machines – Progress – The film
Machines improve our lives – on a large and small scale. Whether for our health, food or the many means of transportation that we use; whether we are looking at the ground deep below the sea or from high above – we need machines and people who utilize their skills to make the world a better place to live. That is the aim of mechanical and plant engineering. Humans – Machines – Progress.
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