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Debates
Thursday, 13 March 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

European business centres in Asia (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Peter Šťastný (PPE). - Madam President, my political group and I have always been supportive of policy measures that are aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of EU companies beyond the EU market. European business centres in Asia are one of the means aiming to help the EU stay competitive in an ever-changing global market. Therefore, they must function and operate in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Unfortunately, recent evaluations have shown that these initiatives have not been performing to the standards that we expected.

These data raise several questions. We are concerned about whether demonstrated initiatives offer sufficient added value for European companies; whether the resources were allocated effectively; whether there has been enough transparency in these initiatives and whether they are already able to continue to function partly on their own revenue. I am aware that setting up new business centres is a long-term project and that they have to overcome initial challenges. Business centres in India, China and Thailand already achieve measurable success, and I believe they have a potential to reinforce common EU interests. However, we must hold the Commission accountable to ensure that the business centres are efficient in aiding European businesses. We must also ensure that there are appropriate tools and information at the disposal of our businesses so that they can not only enter the Asian market but thrive in it.

 
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