Free economic activity in an open society

As President of the BDI, the Federation of German Industry, Ulrich Grillo represented the interests of more than 100,000 companies with 8 million employees in Germany and 4 million abroad. On their behalf he calls for an open society, in which the economy can also develop freely.

Grillo Opener

In conversation with Ulrich Grillo

Ulrich Grillo is in favour of openness...

... in global trade
Around the world people are clamouring for a return to the putative security of a closed society. I believe it is partly the responsibility of the economy to continually re-assert and defend an open society. The German economy in particular is dependent on export markets and thus on open borders and free markets.

... regarding digitalisation and innovations
We need more open-mindedness regarding digitalisation and new innovations. By 2025, Europe could achieve growth of 1.25 trillion euros in industrial gross value added if digital transformation is successfully implemented. But our companies need the right conditions. I am thinking, for example, of the further upgrading of infrastructure for broadband connectivity. Yet also the introduction of innovation checks, which systematically evaluate the consequences of new legislation for Germany as an innovation hub as early as its origination – and not when it has already come into force.

... towards intercultural cooperation and people seeking refuge
When it comes to the issue of refugees we have to cooperate more closely. The business world is taking its responsibility for integration very seriously. Yet it is more arduous than many imagine. Integration can succeed, but it will require time and patience – and favourable framework conditions. Nobody can expect to see rapid success. It was clear from the outset that the integration of refugees would be a task that would require years rather than months to master. German industry will continue to campaign for an open and diverse society.