The Juncker Commission has prioritized the strengthening of Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment, economic growth, and job creation. The EU corporate sector will not only play a critical part in achieving these objectives but also will be a beneficiary of policies put forward as the Commission carries out its work programme over the next five years. Over the recent period, the EU corporate sector has faced a variety of new challenges, ranging from globalisation, technological change, and the overall macroeconomic environment (among many others). However, Europe has a bedrock of long-term embedded advantages (the size and wealth of its markets, the quality of its products and institutions, and its heritage, culture and education systems) which can both help the EU corporate sector successfully navigate these issues as well as open the door to potential opportunities for innovation, growth, and jobs. This discussion brings together a distinguished group of speakers to discuss how the EU corporate sector can reach its full competitive potential – and how both the public and private sectors can address obstacles to growth and confidence in the region and beyond. Registration for this event is restricted to Bruegel members and invitees.
A number of economies currently face the risk of becoming caught between rapidly-growing low-income countries with abundant and cheap labor, and middle-income countries that are able to innovate quickly. These dynamics could lead to a "moderate growth trap," characterized by job creation that is insufficient to absorb the expansion of the workforce. The evolving international environment requires a rethinking and reformulation of the growth strategy in order for countries to better position themselves in global value chains and prepare to compete in international markets for goods and services with high-skill-intensive labor and more sophisticated technological inputs. Two leading scholars from OCP Policy Center in Morocco will present a new publication “Morocco: Growth Strategy for 2025 in an Evolving International Environment” which includes a quantitative model providing a framework that can be generalized to other middle-income countries. The policy issues and related challenges facing Morocco are similar to those of most of the middle-income countries in the MENA region, and elsewhere. The implications in terms of the nature and the scope of interactions with EU economic developments and policies will also be discussed.
Since competitiveness is at the heart of policy making at the Union level, the definition and availability of new indicators of competitiveness and assessment of data requirements needed to compute such indicators is an essential task. This is the topic of the Bruegel Blueprint Mapping competitiveness with European data. MAPCOMPETE, a support action for the European Commission carried out by a consortium of European research institutes (see www.mapcompete.eu), has been designed to address the challenges discussed above, with special reference to providing an assessment of data opportunities and requirements for the comparative analysis of competitiveness in European countries, both at the macro and the micro level. This Blueprint picks up some of the main issues of the MAPCOMPETE project and provides an inventory and an assessment of the data related to the measurement of competitiveness in Europe. This Report, and the associated meta-database available at www.mapcompete.eu – which provides detailed information on data accessibility and computability of more than 150 indicators – can be a key handbook for a researcher interested in measuring competiveness, or for policymakers interested in the feasibility and in the quality of alternative competitiveness measures. This Blueprint also identifies the opportunities emerging from recent progress made in scientific research and facilitated by different data providers who increasingly make their data available to research. Finally, this inventory allows us to identify the main issues that need to be addressed by policy makers in order to improve data accessibility for the economic analysis of competitiveness in Europe.
The European Commission argues for more private retirement saving to supplement public pensions based on pay-as-you-go financing. Experience with private pension schemes in different EU member states is not always favorable. Indeed, several countries in Eastern Europe have scaled back their private pension plans. In the wake of the financial crisis, policy makers question whether private pensions can generate stable, adequate and affordable retirement income. Professors Nijman and Bovenberg will present new research highlighting innovations that allow private funded pensions to reconcile adequate and transparent old-age security with affordable and safe private old-age insurance tailored to the needs of heterogeneous consumers. This will be followed by comments from discussants and an open discussion with the participants. The discussion will be moderated by Karen Wilson, Senior Fellow at Bruegel.
In this closed-door seminar, Mr Hiroyuki Odagiri, Commissioner of the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) will present Japanese competition policy. Mr Odagiri will speak about the development of Japan's Antimonopoly Law and the recent activities of JFTC, ranging from cartel and merger cases to reports on the electricity market and the childcare sector. He will also discuss the challenges that JFTC does and will face in the future (and actually so do EU and other competition authorities) such as the effects of globalized business activities and the need to tackle issues related to R&D and intellectual property rights. After Mr Odagiri's presentation, the floor will be opened to discussion amongst participants.
In preparation for the Paris climate conference in December 2015, Bruegel hosts a closed-door event on the implications of decarbonisation for business and the financial sector. Both decarbonisation and the effects of climate change will have a material impact on business and the financial sector. To give one example, the current value of the oil and natural gas reserves which would have to stay in the ground to meet the climate targets is more than USD 100 trillion. These reserves are a core fundamental in the valuation of oil and gas companies - and the financial companies that invested into them. On the other hand, to use these reserves could contribute to catastrophic climate change. This would have extremely negative consequences to society as a whole and therefore also the energy and finance businesses. Workshop participants will discuss how these financial risks related to decarbonisation and climate change could be better accounted for in the financial statements of companies, and how this might affect the financing of low-carbon investments. This is a closed-door event for invited participants only. There is another event about the path to a low-carbon economy later the same day. We will be accepting public registrations for places at this event from 13 April, and it will be live streamed on the event page.
Climate change data underline the urgent need to move toward a low-carbon economy: a goal echoed in ambitious emissions reduction targets. Achieving this will require a substantial transformation of infrastructures and business models. For this to succeed capital must be moved from the established high-carbon investments towards low-carbon opportunities. However, this process is fraught with uncertainties - not least political ones - and redirecting capital flows across the economy will be a massive challenge. In this event Nick Robins and Anthony Hobley will share their experiences of these challenges and suggest possible ways to overcome them. This will be followed by comments from discussants and an open discussion with the participants. The discussion will be moderated by Georg Zachmann, Research Fellow at Bruegel.
Falls in potential output growth and private fixed investment were among the unsurprising consequences of the global economic crisis. Despite signs of a return to growth, the economic recovery remains fragile in a number of advanced and emerging market economies. Weak private investment is both a driver and a result of low medium-term growth prospects. The analytical chapters of the IMF’s April 2015 World Economic Outlook focus on these two topics.
What emerges is a tale of diverging narratives for advanced and emerging economies. The fall in potential output growth in advanced countries started well before the crisis, and has worsened further since then. Private investment in advanced economies also contracted sharply. Meanwhile, in emerging market economies the decline in potential output growth only began after the crisis, and private investment has slowed more gradually.
A presentation by Roberto Garcia-Saltos and Daniel Leigh, key contributors to the IMF report, will be followed by comments from a discussant and an open debate chaired by Zsolt Darvas.