Interview on the new European supply chain law

Frankfurt a. M., 29/11/2022: In an interview published by the FAZ, Jörg Wellmeyer from the construction company Strabag International GmbH and Stefan Liebing talk about the effects of the future European supply chain law.

Wellmeyer criticises that actions that are supposed to promote the local economy in Africa will no longer be possible in the future without immense effort. For example, in future, when ordering desks from the local carpenter, it would have to be checked where the wood comes from, who felled the tree and whether the appropriate protective equipment was worn. According to Wellmeyer, it is impossible to carry out this check for every component in a larger project. For this reason, Strabag will withdraw from the traditional construction business in Africa in the future.

He also criticises the fact that the new supply chain law only affects Europeans and that Chinese companies, for example, can implement projects without these hurdles with money from the World Bank and thus have a competitive advantage.

While Wellmeyer would like to see a level playing field, Liebing sees the respective governments as responsible for defining and complying with social and ecological standards. International organisations must harmonise these.

In addition to the EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy, which aims to mobilise 150 billion euros in investments in Africa by 2027, Liebing also mentions the project of a medium-sized company from Germany. The company is building wind and solar plants in Nambia in order to then produce hydrogen and export it to Europe. The 10 billion euro project is expected to double Namibia’s GDP.

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