BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2016-30
Rising protectionism - why TTIP and CETA are important
“We are very concerned about the wave of protectionism that seems to be spreading to Europe. We have to see a stronger commitment from our politicians that they are willing to defend our economic interests in the world”, Markus J. Beyrer said at the press breakfast BusinessEurope organised on 21 September. Promoting the EU’s interests means opening new markets and creating new trade and investment opportunities for EU companies, especially SMEs. The EU has to be able to conclude important deals like TTIP or CETA but it also needs to implement its trade agreements in a shorter period. To raise awareness on CETA, the most ambitious and forward-looking agreement concluded by the EU so far, BusinessEurope published a brochure that includes sectorial views on expected benefits. CETA is not only important for EU-Canada relations but for the EU trade policy altogether.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
EU-China relationship requires greater levels of reciprocity
“China remains one of our most important, yet challenging partners”, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said at an EU-China Seminar hosted at BusinessEurope. Speakers agreed that while the EU-China relationship is definitely mature, the slowing down of economic growth in China means that a number of longstanding issues for European business in China have become a higher priority. “In order to address the current imbalances in terms of opportunities and market access, the EU-China relationship requires greater levels of reciprocity. Instead of closing down the European market, we need to look for ways to make business in China easier for foreign companies.” Markus J. Beyrer continued. At a time when Europe continues to face economic challenges and is negotiating a number of trade agreements, we have to demonstrate that trade makes sense and that trade delivers jobs and growth. Addressing imbalances is an important way of achieving this objective. The EU-China Seminar was co-organised with the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and the EU-China Business Association.
Contact: Maurice Fermont
European and Japanese businesses urge acceleration in EU-Japan free trade negotiations
Today BusinessEurope, Keidanren, the European Business Council in Japan and the Japan Business Council in Europe sent a joint letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker, President Donald Tusk, and Premier Shinzo Abe calling for an acceleration of the EU-Japan FTA negotiations in line with the leaders’ declaration made in the margins of the G7 summit at Ise-Shima on 26 May. European and Japanese businesses underlined that the agreement should lead to commercially meaningful market access, the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, and include an ambitious chapter on procurement. It is also a unique opportunity to send a clear signal to the world that we believe in free, open and fair trade as a way of promoting sustainable economic growth and improving the living conditions of our citizens.
Contact: Maurice Fermont
Digital skills vital for companies’ competitiveness
“New jobs and all sectors of the economy increasingly need digital skills. They are a key factor of a company’s productivity and competitiveness and for supporting Europe's digital economy goals. Therefore, employers need to play a strong role in the adaptation and design of education and training systems at national level, including the development of curricula, qualifications and occupations, to successfully meet these needs.” The Chair of BusinessEurope’s Digital Economy Task Force Kurt-Christian Scheel said at a roundtable meeting on digital skills with Commissioner Oettinger on 20 September. It was also highlighted that digital skills can be developed from primary and secondary levels of education and that these should be based on a broader set of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related skills and competences. Knowledge of STEM skills helps to advance and apply digital skills.
Contact: Robert Plummer
- 23 September 2016: Informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade), Bratislava
- 28-29 September 2016: Bratislava Digital Assembly
- 28-30 September 2016: European Forum for New Ideas - The Future of Work. Realities, Dreams and Delusions, Sopot, Poland
- 29 September 2016: Competitive Council