January 28, 2017 / 5:16 AM / 3 years ago

German engineers see no big hit from Trump, Brexit: VDMA

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German engineers expect no hit to business from the presidency of Donald Trump or Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the head of industry body VDMA told a German newspaper.

“We don’t expect that engineering will be the focus of President Donald Trump and that significant trade barriers will be built in the short-term,” VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker told Suedwest Presse in an interview.

“One reason is that hardly any American competitors exist for our products.”

The United States is the most important export market for German engineers, accounting for 11 percent, or 17.8 billion euros ($19.1 billion), the paper said.

VDMA said in December it expected muted growth in 2017, with an uncertain outlook for business in the United States and China offsetting a recovery in exports to some markets such as Russia and India.

The industry group, which represents large engineering companies such as Siemens (SIEGn.DE) as well as thousands of medium-sized industrial goods makers, sees sector sales edging up to 224 billion euros in 2017 from 220 billion in 2016.

Welcker also expects no dramatic impact from Brexit, he said.

“The industrial base there is no longer strong enough for German machines to be particularly in demand.”

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Ralph Boulton

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