German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Updated 14 November 2012
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German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Germany is set for a record trade surplus this year, increasing 10 percent compared to 2011, to reach 174 billion euros ($ 221 billion), the BGA German federation of exporters and wholesalers said Tuesday.
"Despite a weakening at the end of the year, our foreign trade is facing a new all-time high this year," its president Anton Boerner said in a written statement.
Exports, which remain the motor of the German economy, Europe's biggest, are expected to grow by four percent to 1.1 trillion euros in 2012 while imports are set for three-percent growth to 929 billion euros, in nominal terms, it said.
Boerner reiterated that the volume of foreign trade, or the total of exports and imports, would surpass the 2.0-trillion-euro mark this year for the first time.
But the federation remains cautious. "The debt crisis with all its dangers will accompany Germany for a long time yet," its president warned.
In April, the BGA forecast a stable trade surplus of 159 billion euros for 2012 compared with the year earlier but has since revised downwards its projections for imports and, to a lesser extent, exports.


Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

Updated 8 min 47 sec ago
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Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

FRANKFURT: Siemens said its boss Joe Kaeser met Iraq’s prime minister on Sunday to discuss a proposal by the German company to expand the Middle East nation’s power production.
The German engineering group said it was proposing a deal to add 11 gigawatt (GW) of capacity over four years, saying this would boost the country’s capacity by nearly 50 percent.
It did not give a value, but such a contract would be worth several billion euros based on previous comparable deals.
Iraq has a wide gap between electricity consumption and supply. Peak demand in the summer, when people turn on air conditioners due to high temperatures, is about 21 GW, far exceeding the 13 GW the grid is currently provides, experts say.
Kaeser said in a statement after meeting Prime Minister Al-Abadi that they had “discussed the comprehensive Siemens roadmap to build a better future for the Iraqi people.”
“In Egypt, we have done the same and successfully built up the power infrastructure in record time with the highest efficiency,” he said.
In 2015, Siemens signed an 8 billion euro ($9.4 billion) deal with Egypt to supply gas and wind power plants to add 16.4 gigawatts of capacity to the country’s power grid, marking the group’s single biggest order.
The proposal for Iraq, first pitched in February, would include cutting Iraq’s energy losses, introducing smart grids, expanding transmission grids, upgrading existing plants and adding new capacity.
The group would also help the government secure funding from international commercial banks and export credit agencies with German government support, creating thousands of jobs in Iraq.
Siemens would donate a $60 million grant for software for Iraqi universities, it said.