At B20 Summit in Tokyo, Japan, global business leaders of the private sector's voice of the G20 economies warned against the rise in protectionism around the world and the increasing opposition to trade. BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “We must avoid trade conflicts where each side tries to play by its own rules. A ‘winner takes it all’ attitude will end in a battlefield of losers on all sides. Trade wars are extremely dangerous for companies around the world, which are relying on global value chains and the ability to choose from the best and most competitive goods and services. We need to make sure that protectionism and unilateralism will not become the ‘new normal’. The World Trade Organisation is a central pillar of today’s rules-based trading order. We need to reform it, make it more effective and able to respond to challenges posed by state-centric economies, including subsidies and the prominent role of state-owned enterprises.” Read our press release and B20 Joint Recommendations "Society 5.0 for SDGs".
“Recent months have reminded us of the fragility of the EU economy, with lower business growth and confidence,” commented BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level today. “This should be a wake-up call to EU leaders regarding the need to strengthen the resilience of the EU economy and raise our long-term growth potential. Businesses are looking to Member States to step up their implementation of growth-enhancing structural reforms.” The Macroeconomic Dialogue provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners. Council press release
SMEs are one of Europe’s best assets to seize the major opportunities brought by the current changes we are living at the technological, political and economic levels. "The EU SME policy has delivered a number of very encouraging outcomes, yet this is not enough", Director General Markus J. Beyrer said during the conference "What do SMEs expect from the future EU SME policy?" on 19 February in Brussels. "Today we call for strengthening the EU SME policy", he added; "a massive job remains to be done". At the event, BusinessEurope presented its latest memorandum calling for fresh measures on the EU SME policy action agenda. Other panellists included Sandra Gallina, Deputy Director General of DG Trade, together with other key representatives from the European Commission and Parliament, entrepreneurs and CEOs. Memorandum - Programme - Photos
Business leaders from major world economies met in Delhi, India, on 11 and 12 February and agreed that trade and digitalisation should remain top priorities for the international business community in 2019. "Business is very concerned by increasing trade tensions around the world and unilateral actions that are threatening the multilateral trading system and the WTO", said Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General. Digitalisation, he added, enables trade and brings new business opportunities for many companies, especially SMEs in manufacturing and services sectors. "We need rules and standards that support the digital economy and address increasing threats like cybercrime. We must be aware of measures that limit data flows and promote forced data localisation", Beyrer said. Read more
Representatives of the European social partners talk about the topics that they will jointly work on over the next three years, including digitalisation; skills; addressing risks at work; capacity-building for a stronger social dialogue; and circular economy. See the pictures of the signing ceremony of the new work programme.
Today the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force. This is a milestone for EU-Japan relations and the business community, workers and consumers on both sides. Trade in goods and services between Japan and the European Union amounts to over 150 billion euros a year, and exports between the two regions are projected to increase by 34% for the EU and 29% for Japan when all tariffs are phased out and the agreement is fully implemented. This agreement, BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said, is the perfect example that building bridges is better than raising walls. At a time when protectionism is on the rise, the EU and Japan show the world that they remain open to modern and rules-based trade. Read more or watch message by Director General Markus J. Beyrer (31 January 2019)
- Business Ambition 2030 – A Europe with opportunities for all -
Today in Rome, Europe’s umbrella organisation for employers and industry, BusinessEurope and its Italian member federation Confindustria presented the European business community’s “Ambition for 2030 – A Europe with opportunities for all”. This is the first of a series of activities that BusinessEurope is taking ahead of the European elections in May 2019. The Ambition recalls the great achievements of the EU, looks at the serious challenges we currently face and explains how European business is committed to transforming them into opportunities for European citizens. Business stands ready to play its role in defending our European way of life. At the press conference in Rome BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said: “The European project brought us 70 years of peace and prosperity. This is a great achievement but it isn’t sufficient anymore for today’s challenges”. Read more
“By eliminating tariffs on green tech and boosting collaborative research, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is one of the first free-trade agreements (FTAs) that can clearly demonstrate what is achievable for two major economies that strive for ambitious climate targets while remaining internationally competitive”, said BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at an event focused on discussing the potential of the EU-Canada trade deal in addressing climate change. He made his remarks amidst Mauro Petriccione, Director General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action, Patricia Fuller, Ambassador of Canada for Climate Change, as well as several speakers of industry and civil society. Beyrer explained that the potential benefits of CETA are also global: “The increased competition and know-how between our companies can help them export zero and low-carbon technologies across the world. CETA can also function as a reference for future FTAs between other countries”, he added. © photo: 2019 — GIZ
Romania has taken over the EU presidency from Austria on 1 January, at a critical moment for the EU. BusinessEurope sent a letter to President Klaus Iohannis, highlighting that we count on Romania’s presidency to make the best possible use of the time available to secure a set of measures by May’s European Parliament election. BusinessEurope urged the presidency to focus on ensuring that EU initiatives improving competitiveness, growth and employment in Europe are adopted in due time. “European integration is more important than ever, and we must act now if we want to deliver a Europe with opportunities for all”, President Pierre Gattaz and Director General Markus J. Beyrer wrote. Read more