Europe to become an “engine of growth” for the world economy again

FEB-CEO Pieter Timmermans: Reform efforts need to continue for Europe to become an “engine of growth” for the world economy again

At their annual meeting in Brussels today, employers from across Europe and Central Asia urged governments to continue structural reforms to restore Europe as a “power-house” of the global economy.

“In view of the huge economic and labour market challenges, governments must remain steadfast in their efforts to improve the business climate and competitiveness. This is the only way to unlock the full potential of Europe and Central Asia and bring about more jobs and growth,” said Pieter Timmermans, CEO of the Federation of Employers of Belgium (FEB).

“Employers’ organisations will not be sidelined in that reform process. We are raising our members’ awareness of their unlimited possibilities. At the FEB 2012 Forum on 17 September, we will debate the internationalisation of Belgian enterprises. Standing still is not an option for entrepreneurs; doing business beyond our own borders is vitally important for companies, both large and small, to thrive in an increasingly competitive world. Our motto is: Be international!”

Mr Timmermans’ comments were supported by the European Vice-President of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Renate Hornung-Draus, who added, “It is the private sector that is providing jobs and growth, and companies need a framework that gives them confidence to hire and invest in people.” She cautioned against employment policies “that constrain flexible forms of work and block entry into the labour market of millions, especially young people and other vulnerable groups.”

Speaking for employers around the world, the IOE’s Secretary-General Brent Wilton called on G20 governments to follow up on the commitments they made in the context of the intergovernmental process. “The conclusions of the G20 Leaders Summit in Mexico in June need to be fulfilled. Business is playing its part by launching a global initiative to follow-up on the B20 employment recommendations.” He called for continuity of purpose in the G20, and for employment to remain at the heart of the process as the G20 presidency transfers to Russia.

About the International Organisation of Employers (IOE)

 The IOE promotes the interests of employers and their organisations around the world at the global level by providing representation, information and advice. It is the global voice of the business community in social and labour policy debate, and in international policy development that seeks to create a framework for business. The IOE also provides an international forum for national employers’ organizations and their members to facilitate the exchange of information, experience and good practice amongst the business community. The IOE was founded in 1920 and today represents 150 national members in 143 countries.Contact: Matthias Thorns, Mobile 0041 79 400 60 83,thorns@ioe-emp.org

About the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium (FEB)

The FEB is the only multi-sector employers’ organisation representing companies in all three regions of Belgium. Its members, Belgium’s leading sectoral federations, represent companies in key industrial and service sectors. FEB’s activities cover all business related matters and are supported by member federations’ expertise and knowledge of events on the ground. More specifically, FEB is involved in economic, social, legal and fiscal issues. Through its member federations, FEB represents more than 50,000 businesses covering approximately 80% of the workers in the private sector.Contact: Kris De Meester

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