Europe still an attractive business destination, Eastern companies say26 April 2012
by BEUC -- last modified 26 April 2012
Enterprises from the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) see the European Union as an attractive business destination and express great optimism towards closer integration with the EU.
The 200 respondents, surveyed in the framework of the East Invest programme, believe this integration process will increase access to European capital markets, generate more inward investment and strengthen their competitiveness in the longer run.
Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES, commented: "In tough economic times, these findings come as an injection of optimism and trust for the European Union. Foreign companies still perceive the vast potential of doing business with the EU. We should make the most of this opportunity and proceed with the association negotiations with our Eastern Neighbours as swiftly as possible. Creating a stable and transparent cooperation framework with these countries is the best guarantee for stability and prosperity between the two regions."
At the same time, to encourage investment from European companies, reforms need to be carried out on the other side of the EU border: economic and regulatory policy uncertainty, the lack of macro economic stability and corruption are seen by the surveyed companies as the three main issues to be addressed in their respective countries.
Support schemes for internationalisation and progress on standards and certification policies are also crucial.
The survey results were released in the fringes of the annual East Alliance conference, gathering 85 business-support organisations from the EU and the six Eastern Partnership countries to discuss the EU's Neighbourhood Policy and take stock of the East Invest programme, an initiative of the European Union and managed by EUROCHAMBRES.
EUROCHAMBRES - The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry represents over 20 million enterprises in Europe - 93% of which are SMEs - through members in 45 countries and a European network of 2000 regional and local Chambers.
BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation