January 23, 2020 / 7:34 AM / a month ago

Siemens CEO Kaeser asks Trump for equal treatment in Mideast

FILE PHOTO: Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser looks on before visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the company's plant in Goerlitz, Germany, July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

ZURICH (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said he was seeing a more positive mood among the German engineering company’s clients at the start of the year, he told CNBC on Thursday.

“They are getting more optimistic for the second half of the year than they have for the first half and actually 2019,” Kaeser said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

He said he wanted Siemens, which employs 60,000 people directly in the United States, to be treated equally to U.S. companies when it came to reconstruction projects in the Middle East, and called on Germany’s government to increase infrastructure spending.

“We have good American workers, working for us in the U.S. If we go to Iraq and if we go to Syria and we help rebuild those countries, I want to be treated as a U.S. company going out to help these people,” said Kaeser, who raised the issue with U.S. President Trump at a dinner.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields

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