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Interview with Ingeborg Neumann, President of the Association of the German Textile and Fashion Industry

Interview with Ingeborg Neumann, President of the Association of the German Textile and Fashion Industry

Ingeborg Neumann, General President of the German textile and fashion industry and BDI Vice President in conversation with Andreas Herholz. The interview was published in the Passauer Neue Presse, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Schweriner Volkszeitung, Wirtschaftswoche Online, Focus Online, Zeit online and at the Deutsche Presseagentur.

Herholz: Ms. Neumann, the restrictions on public life are progressing. You speak for 1400 mostly medium-sized companies, what is the situation in the companies?

Neumann: The damage is immense, we are a global industry, our supply chains have broken down. Many of our companies are in a state of emergency, many in free fall. For example, the auto parts suppliers or clothing manufacturers because retailers cancel their orders. We now also need a lot of solidarity within our economy.

Herholz: Will the second billion-dollar package that the federal government is putting together now help?

Neumann: Many have already applied for short-time work benefits, but now we need direct help. How should small and medium-sized companies take out loans when they have no orders at all but the costs continue? The banks evaluate according to outdated criteria. If there are no direct aids for companies with at least 100 employees at very short notice, many of our companies are on their knees.

Herholz: What do you hear from the entrepreneurship, are the aids starting?

Neumann: No, because of the enormous size of the corona crisis, there are problems in many places. Desperate entrepreneurs contact us who will soon lose their entire existence. Many are on hold. Here the administrations and banks must now pull their forces together.

Herholz: Has globalization failed with the corona epidemic?

Neumann: No. In the future, however, we will need sustainable globalization. The epidemic shows that we can only solve problems together and not as nation states. And we need a functioning industry in our own country. Therefore, the entire legislation for the coming year must be put to the test.

Herholz: That means?

Neumann: We have to cut taxes, postpone C02 pricing. And here, too, Bavaria's Prime Minister Söder is leading the way and has demanded massive electricity price cuts. We will have no other choice, otherwise we will not be able to do it.

Herholz: How do you as an entrepreneur deal with the crisis?

Neumann: Remain calm and level-headed despite the extremely tense situation, panic has never been a good guide. Looking ahead and, if possible, focusing on the time when we can resume our public and economic life.


Picture: copyright @photothek/imo

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