Today, business and government leaders from Asia and Europe gathered in Brussels for the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum organised by BusinessEurope and held in the margins of the ASEM Summit. Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport and Pavel Telička, Vice-President of the European Parliament delivered their perspectives and visions for a further strengthening of the ties between Asia and Europe. Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope said “Europe and Asia want to intensify their economic cooperation and they agree that open and rules-based trade is a key priority for both regions. This is a very important signal from today’s meeting. Respecting market rules, transparency, open procurement and a level playing field for all companies is the basis to better connect Europe and Asia.” See the forum’s conclusions on deepening and expanding the Asia-Europe relationship. Read more - Photos
European business is keen to actively support any actions that create more trade and investment opportunities for both US and EU companies - was the main message given by Markus J. Beyrer in the meeting today with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers for all industrial goods would be an important step in this direction.
“Avoiding a chaotic Brexit is a top priority for us”, said BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz today at the Tripartite Social Summit in Brussels. “It’s absolutely essential to finalise the withdrawal agreement with a transition period, to allow time for ratification”. At the meeting in the European Council building in Brussels, Gattaz also said: “There is urgent need to put our European house in order. The EU economy has been growing at a good pace but there are risks linked to political uncertainty and rising protectionism”. For Gattaz, EU leaders must show that they are able to bring real answers to the key challenges facing Europe: Brexit, digitalisation, strengthening the European economic and Monetary Union, and migration. Speech - Photos
On the initiative of its new President, Pierre Gattaz, BusinessEurope has gathered its members for a seminar in Paris on 9 and 10 October to define their expectations on the evolution of the further construction of Europe, its key foundations and values, in view of the European elections in 2019. This seminar has united 85 top representatives of its 39 member federations. A wide and open survey was conducted beforehand to determine the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of Europe and the risks it is facing. Pierre Gattaz commented: "This seminar is a first step to build a common vision of what European companies are expecting. While some people want to question the construction of Europe as we have known it for 60 years, companies have reiterated their commitment to further develop the Single Market and strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union. Europe is not an option but a necessity. It must evolve towards more efficiency and simplification but the direction is the right one. Do not give in to simplistic solutions." Read more
"In a world undergoing profound changes, companies are a crucial factor of adaptation while ensuring stability. My main task as President of BusinessEurope will be to make sure that uncertainties we are facing lead to a new global order rather than to a global mess", Pierre Gattaz said at the opening gala of the European Forum for New Ideas (EFNI). The 8th edition of this forum took place from 26 to 28 September in Sopot, Poland, and has been organised since 2011 by the Polish Confederation Lewiatan in cooperation with BusinessEurope. The event, which gathers over a thousand participants, is dedicated to global trends, new ideas and the future of Europe. During his speech, President Gattaz highlighted that “the next years will be decisive. Free movement of goods, services, capital and people is an absolute 'must' to build a strong Europe". And to end up with an improved global trade system, "we will need to deepen existing partnerships and develop new ones, especially in our neighbourhood”, he concluded. Photo copyright: K.RAINKA
“The energy transition is very much driven by the need to combat climate change. European industry is fully engaged in making the transition to a low-carbon economy a reality. Different sectors are facing different challenges.” These were key messages conveyed by Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope at the Global Wind Summit 2018 in Hamburg. Beyrer also explained evolutions in positions within the business community, reflecting new market realities, technological developments and public perception.
Please read his full keynote speech here
On 18 October 2018, BusinessEurope will host the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in Brussels, Belgium, under the auspices of the European Union Institutions. This event will bring together around 450 business leaders from Asia and Europe who share the goal of strengthening trade and investment relations between the two continents. The AEBF will take place in parallel with the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which brings together 53 partners, all EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, 21 Asian countries and other members. The Forum is therefore an ideal platform to engage with political leaders from both regions, to share ideas on how to tackle today’s and tomorrows’ challenges and boost economic growth, development and job creation across the two continents.
The strengthening of economic growth has led to a further improvement on labour markets. Eurostat’s latest unemployment figures, released today, show that EU unemployment is with 6.8% in July 2018 back to pre-crisis levels, and well below the 11% in March 2013 at the peak of the Eurozone crisis. Despite these improvements, unemployment rates still remain uneven across EU countries, with three EU Member States facing rates (well) above 10%. Of particular concern is that even at this early stage of the recovery, there are already signs of the emergence of a structural mismatch, where business across the EU increasingly report difficulties in hiring workers. As our Spring Economic Outlook outlined, the share of industrial enterprises which indicate that insufficient labour limits their production is already at twice the pre-crisis share and the highest on record since 1985. Against this background, we need to see urgent policy action to avoid that labour market mismatches increasingly act as a break on economic growth over the coming years.