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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Targets Tech Losses

BRUSSELS -- European Union industry needs to devote more energy to high-technology sectors if it wants to remain competitive, Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann has said.

"If we do not get into new technologies we're not going to get genuine growth potential," he told a news conference last week, citing information technology and biotechnology.

Bangemann was reacting to a report showing that the EU had lost market share in high-growth electronics sectors, mechanical engineering and automotive equipment from 1987 to 1994.

"EU firms will have to continue their cost reduction efforts in order to restore profitability, with many European industries facing increasing competition from outside the EU," a statement summarizing the report said.

The report, "Panorama of EU Industry 95/96," said Europe overemphasizes fundamental research at the expense of commercial innovation, and the EU's share of new patents has fallen steadily.

The report shows that the EU had a continuous trade surplus in goods and services between 1982 and 1994, representing 3.6 percent of gross domestic product in 1994.

But the surplus for manufactured goods shrank between 1985 and 1991, recovering slightly between 1992 and 1994, the statement said.

Bangemann said EU industry needed to target growth areas such as Southeast Asia and Latin America for trade opportunities.