Ex-Siemens boss named as adviser to Merkel

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2005, BERLIN - China and India are Germany's biggest competitors in a globalised world, said ex-Siemens chief Heinrich von Pierer on Tuesday after being named a top economic adviser to Angela Merkel if she defeats Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in upcoming elections.

30 August 2005

BERLIN - China and India are Germany's biggest competitors in a globalised world, said ex-Siemens chief Heinrich von Pierer on Tuesday after being named a top economic adviser to Angela Merkel if she defeats Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in upcoming elections.

Von Pierer, who headed the German electrical giant with over 400,000 employees from 1992 until early this year, said Germany was too expensive to compete in terms of costs with rising economic powers.

"Our big competitors are China and India," he said, adding that Germany's high standard of living meant costs could not be sunk to the levels in these countries or even in neighbouring Poland.

Von Pierer said Germany would remain expensive and therefore had to be better than its competitors. He named medical technology, the automotive branch, optics and aerospace as just a few areas where Germany has a substantial lead which it needed to build on.

Merkel - who leads Schroeder in all polls in the run-up to September 18 elections - said von Pierer will head a 10-member council of economic advisers who will meet four times a year.

Comprised of business leaders and scientists, the council will seek to improve and speed up exploitation of German scientific developments by business.

Merkel cited Germany's swift and early decision to embrace GSM mobile phone technology as an example of what she wanted the council to do.

"We need more growth and innovative growth for more jobs," said Merkel.

Germany currently suffers almost 12 per cent unemployment with nearly five million jobless.

DPA

Subject: German news

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