The European Union is seeing the shortage of raw materials as a major risk for the global economy as demand begins to exceed supply. European Union trade chief Karel De Gucht said that no country possessed all the raw materials that it needed.
He said that everyone was affected by the risk and that a global solution needed to be found for the problem. There is no quick fix for the problem he added. The dependence on unreliable partners was brought home with a vengeance when China decided to restrict the export of its rare earth elements.
He suggested that rare earth mines that had been closed should be reopened in the European Union so as to help gain some level of self sufficiency regarding these minerals. He was also worried about other raw materials such as cotton and wood.
It was necessary for the European Union to clearly define the raw materials that it had a strategic interest in importing. That way it would be clear about what raw materials were important to it and then find means to procure it.