The chemical industry in Europe is facing many challenges resulting from changes in its competitive position, global and local environment issues, as well as regulatory and technological innovation. A priori, Europe is not well positioned right now; but this could be turned into an advantage, if there is an entrepreneurial will – and the preparedness to anticipate future needs. This article describes the difficulties awaiting the industry and some opportunities arising from them.
A significant sector
As the European Commission points out:
The chemicals industry is one of Europe’s largest manufacturing sectors. As an ‘enabling industry’, it plays a pivotal role in providing innovative materials and technological solutions to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness. (…) The chemicals industry produces petrochemicals, polymers, basic inorganics, specialties, and consumer chemicals. (…) the EU chemicals industry:
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