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Electrical engineering

Competitiveness of the EU Electrical Engineering industry

Televisors © Christophe Binse - Fotolia.com

In May 2009 the Competitiveness Council concluded that the electrical and electronic industry as one of the key sectors to maintain a competitive and strong industrial base in Europe.

The Electrical Engineering industry (EEI) is one of the biggest industries world-wide. It produces a wide range of products, ranging from consumer products to turbines, trains, power grids and power stations. It employed around 2.8 million people in 2007, in approximately 200 000 enterprises, most of which are SMEs. In 2008, the overall production was €411 bn. The share of EEI in EU exports amounted to 10% and the EU had a slightly positive trade balance for EEI products in 2008.

World-wide the EU occupies rank two with a share of 21% in production behind China (30%) and before the U.S. and Japan (both 19%). In terms of value added, the EU is also in 2nd position after the US and ahead of Japan and China. This is due to our specialisation in medium/high-tech products. The EEI has a reputation for the quality and reliability of its products. But competitors from outside EU are catching up.

The future of the European EEI as producers of technologies and its supply chain depends whether the high growth potential of particular markets are fully exploited. This concerns inter alia energy supply infrastructure and energy efficiency of buildings, transport networks and industrial production and the development of smart technologies. Enhanced efforts in RTD/innovation are a prerequisite. Another serious challenge is fighting the shortage of engineers and high skilled personnel in advanced technologies.

In June 2008, the ELECTRA was a joint initiative by the EU's electrical and electronic engineering industry and the European Commission. It addresses the EU objectives on climate change and more growth and better jobs, in a strong and innovative electrical and electronic sector in Europe.

ELECTRA deals with all questions relating to the competitiveness of the European electrical and electronics engineering industry.

Source: Eurostat, National Statistical Offices, ZVEI

For any information, please address your e-mail to the specific ELEC Competitiveness functional e-mail box.

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