“All the more important to discuss deglobalisation”

Miele Group’s executive director and co-proprietor Dr Reinhard Zinkann is speaking at today’s IFA+ Summit alongside the economist and former Greek finance minister Professor Dr Yanis Varoufakis and the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk.


Under the motto the ‘next level of thinking’ he will join numerous outstanding guest speakers and panel discussion members from politics, industry and science at this year’s IFA+ Summit to explore the topic of deglobalisation.

Ahead of the highly anticipated event, Dr Zinkann shared some of his views on the topic with the IFA International daily.

At this year’s IFA+ Summit, the main topic is deglobalisation. How is this reshaping the consumer electronics and home appliances industry?
The global industry has long benefitted greatly from globalised production, supply and sales structures. In recent years, however, we have also seen very clearly the risks that go hand in hand with this. On balance, I do not believe that globalisation will come to an end, but I do believe that the strong focus on costs that has underpinned it to date will tend to diminish in the future. At the same time, protection against geopolitical risks is likely to gain in importance; keyword: friend-shoring.

What are the risks of deglobalisation?
The unbundling of global supply chains is by nature a very lengthy, laborious and costly process with an often uncertain outcome. In addition, there are of course limits, for example with regard to the availability of raw materials.

What is Miele as a German manufacturer doing to tackle these challenges?
Prudent industrial companies review not only their own production network, but also their supplier network, and in many cases right down to the raw materials. At Miele, we do this with great care and a sense of proportion, especially with regard to ensuring availability and quality, distances, infrastructure, logistics and, of course, costs.

So will deglobalisation bring some opportunities?
Every new beginning also brings opportunities, especially if shorter distances can reduce complexity, logistics costs and CO2. This also offers opportunities for production in high-wage countries like Germany.

Every new beginning also brings opportunities, especially if shorter distances can reduce complexity, logistics costs and CO2.

How important is it for industry leaders to work together and discuss these topics at IFA 2022?This is very welcome, if only because the topic is also being widely discussed in public – and the basic idea does not sound unreasonable when viewed superficially. This makes it all the more important to discuss deglobalization in all its facets and with the necessary depth. The IFA+ Summit with its different perspectives makes a valuable contribution to this.


IFA+ Summit: What kind of global trade is good for our economies and democracy?

Under the motto the next level of thinking, numerous outstanding guest speakers and panel discussion members from politics, industry and science will gather at this year’s the IFA+ Summit, starting at 9.30am today, to explore the topic of deglobalisation.

Among the most prominent figures will be Prof. Dr. Yanis Varoufakis (economist and former Greek finance minister), the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, Jürgen Trittin, member of the German Bundestag and former minister of the environment, and Prof Marcel Fratzscher, Ph.D., president of DIW Berlin.

After the first lectures Dr Sara Warneke, managing director of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, and Dr Martin Schulte, Global Sector leader at the consultancy Oliver Wyman, will present a joint international study that examines the outlook for consumers under the impact of globalisation.

A panel discussion will then debate the ’pros and cons of globalisation’. Taking part will be Prof Marcel Fratzscher Ph.D., Melanie Vogelbach (International Economic Policy and Foreign Trade Law at DIHK), Kristina Bonitz (CEO, diffferent), and Dr Mauricio Vargas (economist and financial expert, Greenpeace).

Also speaking will be Prof Dr Lisandra Flach, director of the ifo Center for International Economics, Prof Dr Ronny Alexander Fürst, chancellor of the private AKAD University in Stuttgart, and Jule Bosch, Innovation Expert and Founder.

In the afternoon, visitors to the IFA+ Summit will be able to attend a brief workshop by the strategy agency diffferent, where they can talk over scenarios and possible action and solution strategies.

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