EU/US Leaders Urge European Commission and Bush to Coordinate Actions to Maintain Open Investment

Davos, Switzerland - 24 January 2008

As concern over the global economic situation mounts, more than two dozen chairmen and chief executive officers of European and American companies participating in the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) met today in Davos with U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and EU Commissioners. The executives stressed that the business community and government officials must work together to maintain and develop the barrier-free transatlantic marketplace for investment.

They emphasized that resisting barriers to investment is critical to maintaining confidence in the markets and helping cushion the global economy against possible downward pressures.

The business leaders drew attention to the important role that sovereign wealth funds play in recycling balance of payments surpluses. They also noted the comments made by senior officials that the U.S. and EU are cooperating in the OECD and IMF to help develop voluntary principles and best practices for transparency and governance of sovereign wealth funds. They discussed the need for governments to avoid discriminating against particular types of investment vehicles.

The TABD welcomes the establishment of the Transatlantic Investment Dialogue as a forum to discuss these issues and others, including eliminating sectoral investment barriers, such as aviation and telecommunications. “The challenges presented by the current financial market turmoil demand that the U.S. and EU tackle these investment challenges immediately and with renewed common purpose and vigor,” said Michael Klein, Chairman and Co-CEO, Markets & Banking, Citi, and out-going US co-chair of the TABD.

Balanced Government Policies are Key to Long-Term Competitiveness of the Transatlantic Economy

The overarching theme of today’s dialogue was the imperative of business-government collaboration to foster conditions enabling companies – both large and small -- to generate jobs, expand innovation, and produce growth to counter the current economic downturn. The OECD has referred to the 3% GDP growth potential from completing US-EU regulatory integration. The business executives stressed that, in today’s economic climate, ever-closer economic integration is a necessity, not a luxury. The U.S. Government and European Commission must maintain a balance in policy initiatives affecting the movements of goods, people and capital across the Atlantic. Working through the Transatlantic Economic Council, the governments should address specific barriers and regulatory impediments and ensure that policy prescriptions do not unduly prejudice business interests, in particular in the area of secure trade. Additionally, the business-government dialogue introduced discussion of the positive role of anti-trust regulators in maintaining a competitive and open transatlantic market, and, by extension, an open global market.

James H. Quigley, CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and newly-appointed US TABD co-chair, commented, “Today we had a dialogue with an unprecedented number of senior government officials. Their participation affirms the seriousness with which the governments want to engage business and jointly address the challenges before us. I am pleased to take up my leadership role on behalf of my business colleagues knowing that we have such a strong base of support on both sides of the Atlantic.”

In Addition to the Present Economic Challenge, Business Executives Highlighted its 2008 Agenda

“Drawing on the strength of the cross-sectoral membership of the TABD, we have today renewed our overall agenda for 2008. We will focus on developing actionable recommendations for governments to achieve results in the areas of investment and liberalization of capital markets, regulatory cooperation, secure trade (particularly the movement of people), intellectual property, and innovation,” said Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways. “The dialogue we had today gives me great confidence that the business-government collaboration will move us toward a new level of transatlantic cooperation and prosperity.”

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