The Common Industrial Policy Strategy should support the intensive introduction of innovation in production, industrial digitalization, job creation and improved access to financing for enterprises. This was stated by the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov during the opening of the conference ‘Innovation and Competitiveness. The Core Industries – a Key Driver of Growth’. This event is under the patronage of the Ministry of Economy and has been scheduled in the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Bulgarian Association of Metallurgical Industry, the Bulgarian Chamber of Chemical Industry and the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers have been in charge of organizing the conference.
The Minister of Economy pointed out that the Bulgarian Presidency will continue the efforts to formulate common, long-term and short-term goals for the development of the European industry and the adoption of a Strategy for Common Industrial Policy of the European union. Minister Karanikolov emphasised that the Presidency will focus on the process of completing the Digital Single Market in order to increase the competitiveness of the European economy by promoting economic interest and expanding the opportunities for users to properly use the Internet space.
The Minister of Economy also stressed out the need for active participation by all stakeholders in Europe, the businesses, the public authorities and citizens in order to achieve competitiveness, sustainable growth and employment in the digital transformation process. “Digitalization is one of the main drivers of innovation to boost European competitiveness, maintain a sound scientific and industrial base, manage the transition to intelligent economy of industry and services, and tackle social challenges,” said Minister Karanikolov.
According to his words, Europe presents a world leader in many industries, especially in the high value-added manufacturing sectors and in knowledge-intensive services, yet great efforts would be needed to adapt to the challenges and to ensure that European industry could comply with other major global players. “At present, the European Union faces the need to invest in the modernization of its industry in the overall value chain in order to maintain its competitive position and economic importance globally,” added Karanikolov.
The event was attended by Mr. Eric Mamer, Director of the European Commission’s Directorate for Competitiveness and European Semester, and by the CEOs of the European Branch Organizations – the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), The European Association of Steel (Eurofer), the European Association of Non-ferrous Metals (Eurometaux) and the International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC).
The conference precedes the Plenary Session of the Ministerial Meeting on Competitiveness, to deal with industry, which will discuss the ‘Future of the European Industrial Policy, and the two parallel sessions – ‘The New Trends in Industrial Development – Digitalization of Industry and Human Factors in the Process of Economic Development’ and ‘Value Chains and Developing Competitive Advantages of European Economy’ will discuss the future comprehensive, long-term EU industrial strategy with prospects for up to 2030.