AmChams in Europe attend Transatlantic Week

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AmChams in Europe attend Transatlantic Week


Category: AmCham Norway

On March 2-4, AmCham Norway’s Jason Turflinger joined fellow European AmCham directors in Brussels for a series of events focusing on the transatlantic business relationship and to launch The Transatlantic Economy 2011, an annual survey of jobs, trade and investment between the US and EU.

Transatlantic Week, which was hosted by AmCham EU, included a reception at the European Parliament and a conference – Innovation in the Transatlantic Relationship: unlocking the potential of a 21st century economy. Speakers at this annual transatlantic conference included European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Joseph Quinlan from Bank of America, and the Hon. William Kennard, US Ambassador to the EU.

These transatlantic events were kicked off on Wednesday, March 2 with a meet-and-greet cocktail in the European Parliament, hosted by Slovakian MEP Peter Š?astný. Participants at the reception included MEPs, national Permanent Representatives, senior US Mission staff and numerous delegates from AmChams in Europe and Eurasia.

At the transatlantic conference on Thursday 3 March, Joseph Quinlan, co-author of The Transatlantic Economy 2011, presented the findings of the study. He noted that there has been an impressive rebound from the crisis, which has been reflected in transatlantic trade and company growth. However, he warned that there is a legacy issue in EU and US economies, with debt levels still very high and more money being spent on pensions than on education. He went on to highlight that there is a clear need for the EU and US GDP growth to be above the current 3%, and that in order to achieve this we need to adopt more of a risk-taking approach found in emerging economies.

Following this report, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, stressed the importance of a strong and supportive relationship between the US and the EU. She was pleased to note the striking similarities between President Obama’s and President Barroso’s respective State of the Union speeches, reflecting a mutual learning process between the US and the EU.

The conference was capped by a luncheon keynote with the Hon. William Kennard, US Ambassador to the EU, who discussed US administration efforts to strengthen its ties to business – including the creation of the Council for Jobs and Competitiveness. He stressed that economic recovery will depend on innovation but warned that “vision is easy; execution is in many ways more difficult.”

Following the conference, AmCham executives participated in a series of briefings from AmCham EU on the top priorities for business in Europe for 2011 – including ways in which AmChams in Europe can cooperate on communicating key messages.

In another interesting session, Thomas Spiller, Vice President, Global Policy for SAS Institute presented highlights from a new study, Europe 2020: Competitive or Complacent?, commissioned by AmCham EU and focusing on Europe’s competitive position in the G20 multi-polar world.

Source: AmCham Denmark

Published: April 4, 2011