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e-Business in the chemical, rubber and plastics industryplastics. 25 While many companies concentrate solely on extrusion, others are integratedforward into the production of fabricated products, such as complete windows and patiodoors. In 2005, according to PlasticsEurope, 26 about 230 million tonnes of plastics wereconsumed world wide. Of this, about 48 million tonnes were converted in the EU, Norwayand Switzerland.2.2 Industry backgroundThe chemical, rubber and plastics (CRP) industries is one of the largest manufacturingsectors, providing jobs for about three million people in the EU. 27 It is a major supplier tomany other industries, a provider of innovative materials and technological solutions, andthus plays an important role for the industrial competitiveness as a whole. 28 Moreover,products and services provided by the CRP industries are pervasive in everyday life, asthey can be found in food, clothing, housing, transport, communications and consumerelectronics. In many ways, the industry also plays a very important role to cope with keyfuture challenges. For example, innovative products made of plastics are vitalcomponents of technologies to address climate change, to provide health-care servicesand to save energy. 29The figures presented in this section are mostly based on collections from Eurostat,notably from the Structural Business Statistics (SBS), and on publications of the mainEuropean industry federations in the CRP sector (see Section 1.3).Employment, labour costs, production and value addedIn total, the CRP industries as defined for this study employed more than three millionpeople in the EU in 2004 (latest available figures). Out of those, 43% are employed in thechemical, 45% in the plastics and 12% in the rubber industry (see Exhibit 2.2-1).Average personnel costs in the CRP sector were about €39,000 per employee in theEU-27 in 2004, which is more than 40% above the non-financial business economyaverage. 30 Within the sector, personnel costs are much higher in the chemical industry(€47,000 per employee) than in rubber and plastics manufacturing (€30,000). 31According to Eurostat SBS, the sector generated a value added of about 110 billioneuros in 2004. In this respect, the chemical industry is by far the largest sub-sector,accounting for close to 60% of total value added –-twice as much as the plastics industryand six times as much as rubber manufacturing. Thus, the average value added perperson his higher in the chemical industry than in the other sub-sectors. In total, the EU-25262728293031See EuPC, Association of European Plastics Converters (www.plasticsconverters.eu, Sep.2007).PlasticsEurope (facts & figures), seehttp://www.plasticseurope.org/Content/Default.asp?PageID=957.Eurostat (2006)Cf. European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry: High-level group on competitiveness ofthe European chemical industry (http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/chemicals/hlg/index_en.htm,September 2007).Cf. PlasticsEurope (2007). The World in 2030. Summary and Initial Industry Response.see Eurostat (2007), p. 104.Eurostat (2007). Note that figures for the chemical industry include pharmaceuticals.25

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