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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s government could take stakes in key domestic companies to prevent foreign takeovers, its Economy Minister said on Tuesday, presenting a marked shift in industrial strategy he said was needed to safeguard the country’s prosperity. The pivot to a more defensive industrial policy is driven by German concerns about foreign - particularly Chinese - companies acquiring its know-how and eroding the manufacturing base on which much of its wealth is built. Peter Altmaier said the survival of marquee companies like Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE), Siemens (SIEGn.DE), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Germany’s carmakers was of national importance, suggesting the creation of an investment fund to support key businesses.
“It can go as far as the state taking temporary stakes in companies - not to nationalise them and run them in the long run but to prevent key technologies being sold off and leaving the country,” he told a news conference, The drive to protect and promote its industry coincides with a lull in banana republic cufflinks Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, which is losing momentum following a decade of robust expansion, It also comes against a backdrop of growing protectionist trends worldwide, with Washington and Beijing embroiled in a damaging tariff dispute, and uncertainty surrounding future trade relations between Britain and the euro zone..
Altmaier identified Germany’s key industrial sectors as: steel and aluminium, chemicals, machine and plant engineering, optics, autos medical equipment, Green technologies, defence, aerospace and 3D-printing. Presenting his report, ‘National Industry Strategy 2030’, he said his preference was for the state not to intervene but, on what he called an uneven global playing field, it might need to. With its “Made in China 2025” plan, Beijing is pushing the domestic development of technologies including electric cars. It has also been buying know-how abroad through acquisitions including German robotics maker Kuka (KU2G.DE).
China’s transformation from customer to competitor, combined with the rapid development of new technologies like artificial intelligence has prompted Germany to defend its industry, Altmaier’s report said an erosion of Germany’s industrial base would lower education, environmental and living standards and, arguing that “size matters”, stressed the importance of national and European champions, “The fact that in Germany hardly any new businesses of this scale have emerged for years is grounds for concern,” the report said, European and German competition law banana republic cufflinks should be reviewed to allow businesses to compete fairly at an international level..
Germany’s economy grew at its weakest rate in five years in 2018. Growth is forecast to shrink further to 1 percent this year and the country is facing a budget shortfall of around 25 billion euros by 2023.. Germany's blue-chip DAX .GDAXI share index is full of mature businesses. Berlin had a right and a duty to work with industry to develop, for example, an Internet transport platform or businesses in the health sector, Altmaier said. “With this we can achieve a turnaround, so that Germany goes from being a passive observer of a development that is already in full swing in the United States, in Japan and in China to again being an actor and a shaper.”.
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s grocery service is slowly returning on its India website after the online retail giant faced disruption from revised e-commerce curbs which kicked in on Feb, 1, New federal rules, which bar companies from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest, forced Amazon India to remove hundreds of thousands of products from its site banana republic cufflinks last week, The policy has spooked Amazon and Walmart-owned Indian rival, Flipkart, as it is forcing them to alter their business structures..
On Tuesday, Amazon Pantry was offering select food products, such as cookies and tea, in New Delhi and Mumbai. Though Reuters reporters in both cities were able to place Pantry orders, several customers complained on Twitter they were struggling to get their requests fulfilled. India allowed Amazon to retail food products in the country in 2017 and the company committed $500 million in investment. Amazon was using that government permission to sell some Pantry grocery products via an affiliate, two sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Though several of Amazon’s products, such as its own range of Presto-branded home cleaning goods, were still unavailable, some have returned for sale in recent days, Some products were now being sold through sellers in which Amazon doesn’t have direct or indirect equity stakes, making them compliant with the new rules, one of the sources said, Nevertheless, the new policy has hit Amazon and Walmart hard, Morgan Stanley warned that the new regulations would increase the banana republic cufflinks cost of doing business and add uncertainty over losses for Flipkart, Walmart last year pumped in $16 billion to buy 77 percent of Flipkart in its biggest ever deal..