Interview with Christian Wellner, Managing Director of the GDA (German Aluminium Industry Association), DüsseldorfJanuar 26th, 2012 | By ALUMINIUM in Allgemein, ALUMINIUM Conference, Congress, General | No Comments »
Reed Exhibitions (RX): Mr. Wellner, as a founding partner and as institutional patron of ALUMINIUM, the GDA has supervised and supported the event right from the outset. You have been managing director of the GDA for many years now and were amongst those who first developed the idea of an ALUMINIUM trade fair and presented it to the industry. Can you tell our readers something about your career. How did you get involved with aluminium and the GDA?
Christian Wellner (CW): I’ve been working in the aluminium industry and its different bodies for nearly 30 years now. I studied Economics and my first job afterwards was with an aluminium industry trade association. My father advised to gain some experience there and then to do something “with good prospects”. In the mid-1980s there was a major boom in demand for aluminium as a material and in the aluminium industry as a whole. I very quickly realised that I’d found an industry with a bright future and with plenty of scope for development. Which is basically why I’m still here, working for a material and an industry which still has outstanding potential – and indeed one “with good prospects”.
RX: What do you see as the main challenges facing the aluminium industry in 2012?
CW: Despite the national debt crisis, our sector is facing the coming year with a degree of cautious optimism. German producers are strongly placed amongst the international competition and benefit from their high degree of specialisation. If the politicians can come up with answers to the urgent national debt questions in Europe which the markets find satisfactory, this will considerably boost business expectations for the current year. And this, in conjunction with the positive underlying trend in the key aluminium industry markets, would provide a solid foundation for further growth in 2012.
RX: The GDA organised the EAC – European Aluminium Congress – at the end of November. What indications emerged from this regarding future developments for the industry?
CW: The international congress gave the equipment and technology partners of the aluminium producers and processors a platform for presenting their latest developments. The speakers and the experts from the national and international aluminium industry who took part all agreed that the technology partners and equipment providers to the aluminium industry can expect to face increasing demands in the future. Besides machinery and equipment, our sector needs providers with a comprehensive understanding of the whole process and extensive systemic know-how at all stages of the aluminium value creation chain – from production and processing right through to the area of recycling, which is now growing in significance. Read Full Post