Editorial by Paul Schonenberg
What the business community wants from the next government…
I am often asked what the business community wants and what government officials need to do to attract companies to domicile and engage in business activities. This is a fair question to ask… and fortunately the answer is simple. Let me explain via a story.
For many years before his retirement, I had the opportunity and pleasure to have an annual lunch with Tom Donahue, the very wise, strong and long serving Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce, after his annual European trip to Davos for the annual World Economic Forums. At one of our lunches together he said he was being asked by everyone what it took to attract American business to come and stay in a country. His answer is among the best pieces of economic advice I have ever heard and as correct today as it was then.
Mr. Donahue said that companies are like people. Most importantly companies want to feel safe, be respected and treated fairly. They also want to be appreciated, and have the opportunity grow while making and keeping profits. Mr.Donahue insisted any country that appropriately provides these things to companies and entrepreneurs will have all the business entities they possibly could want knocking at their door asking to come in and settle down.
There was a time that Luxembourg stood out and had virtually no competition as the best location for international business in Europe answering these requirements. And so, businesses came and Luxembourg thrived.
But over the last several years Luxembourg’s dominance answering these simple questions has begun to fade as other countries have learned their lessons and become more focused to compete for the crown as being the best location in Europe for International business.
We in AMCHAM remain committed and want Luxembourg to continue to succeed… and to be the best! We urge the politicians who will comprise our next national leaders to do their part by following Mr. Donahue’s advice. Not for our own benefit as business people, but even more importantly for the good of this country we all love.
Together, let’s regain the crown. It is the only way we can ensure the future we want for the remainder of our own lives and for the generations to come!