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[23 Nov 2014 | Comments Off on French Finance Minister Urges UK to Stay in EU]

 

Britain and the European Union as a whole would lose out if the U.K. were to opt to leave the EU, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has warned.
 
“If the UK forfeits its place in the EU, then Europe would be weakened and the UK would also be worse off. It has to stay in,” he told over 20 AAPA members over breakfast at the Finance Ministry on Nov. 20.
 
“But the British will be British, just like the French will be French”, Mr. Sapin said. He noted that France will benefit …

Economics »

[3 Apr 2014 | Comments Off on Pascal Lamy Doubts Trade Sanctions Against Russia’s Putin Will Change Much]

As the US and the EU consider tougher, coordinated  economic sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and possible, similar plans for  other Russian-speaking regions, Pascal Lamy, who stepped down as head of the World Trade Organization last autumn, told members March 24 that sanctions have not worked in most previous cases and doubts they will work now.
 
“Sanctions did work against South Africa’s apartheid policies and Iran’s military nuclear program, but they rarely work,” Lamy said at the headquarters of the Notre Europe think tank he helped establish. He …

Economics »

[2 Apr 2014 | Comments Off on Airbus CEO Hits Out at Boeing Over Subsidies]

Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Brégier slammed Boeing Co when he met with the AAPA on March 20, saying Boeing’s planned 777X wide-body airliner is the most subsidised aircraft in the world.
 
The E.U. and the U.S. have been at loggerheads for years over claims and counter-claims of unfair subsidies for their commercial aircraft building champions, and are engaged in a protracted dispute inside the World Trade Organization that will take years to resolve. For its part, Boeing claims that Airbus benefits from easy-terms aircraft program launch aid from the European states …

Economics »

[26 Dec 2013 | Comments Off on French Minister Deplores Lack of Transparency in US-EU Trade Talks]

During our third meeting with a minister from Bercy this year, Foreign Trade Minister Nicole Bricq gave the AAPA an exclusive insight into the government’s foreign trade policy, while answering some tough questions on France’s positions in the ongoing U.S.-Europe trade talks.
 
Hosting a lunch for 18 AAPA members on Nov. 15 on the top floor of the Finance Ministry, Mme. Bricq said the U.S. Europe trade negotiations will be “long and difficult” and said she doubted that they will be completed even by the end of 2015.
 
She also deplored the …

Economics »

[27 Feb 2013 | Comments Off on Finance Minister Spills the Beans on Growth Outlook]

 
 
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici created news when he revealed exclusively to the AAPA on Feb.18 that the government was moving away from its earlier pledge to bring its budget deficit down to 3% of gross domestic product this year, arguing that Europe’s recession had created an “exceptional” situation requiring less austerity.
 
The minister’s comments were picked up widely by French media, giving our association some nice publicity.
 
The one-hour on-the-record meeting over breakfast in the ministry’s dining room, with over twenty of us attending, covered a wide range of other key topics: …

Economics »

[11 Feb 2013 | Comments Off on New State Bank On The Prowl For Borrowers and Projects]

Nicolas Dufourcq, the new head of the French government’s Banque Publique d’Investissement, says that one of the greatest obstacles he faces is finding viable projects, not money.
The state bank was created last year to help small and medium-sized companies overcome difficulties in obtaining financing from traditional sources of funding.
At a lunch hosted by the bank for some twenty AAPA members Feb. 4, he explained: “It’s the projects we need to find, and to help.” There is plenty of funding, state and private, he noted, but many companies would still rather …

Economics »

[22 Jan 2013 | Comments Off on Montebourg Hosts AAPA at Bercy]

 
 

Fostering the “reshoring” of French companies that have chosen to relocate overseas and encouraging French people to prefer products “Made in France,” are just two of the tasks set for Industrial Revival Minister Arnaud Montebourg by President Francois Hollande, Mr. Montebourg told some 30 Anglo-American Press Association members on Jan. 8.
During a lunch kindly hosted by Mr. Montebourg at the Finance Ministry at Bercy, he referred to one of President Obama’s campaign slogans: “Let’s bring jobs back home.” And he noted that France’s Socialist party had been inspired by the …

Economics »

[27 Dec 2012 | Comments Off on Energy Will Never Be Cheap, CEO of French Oil Giant Total Tells AAPA]

There is no danger of the world running out of oil and gas any time soon, but it will never be cheap, the head of France’s largest and most profitable company told more than 20 AAPA members at a breakfast meeting on Dec. 11.
Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of French oil and gas giant Total SA, told us that new discoveries and technological advances have increased the oil industry’s ability to increase production in recent years, so that the global maximum for oil production is now estimated at 98 million barrels …

Economics »

[12 Aug 2012 | Comments Off on Former ECB Chief Discusses Euro Zone’s Woes]

Governments of the euro zone that are struggling to prevent the euro crisis developing into a full-blown depression are navigating in uncharted waters, Jean-Claude Trichet told the AAPA on June 27.
The former head of the European Central Bank told two dozen AAPA members that the euro zone has successfully weathered three crises since the Lehman Brothers collapse sparked a financial maelstrom in 2007, thanks to bold decision-making by central banks and governments. But he acknowledged that government officials and central bankers are still writing the text book as they deal …

Economics »

[2 Jul 2012 | Pas de commentaires]

 
We were twenty-odd members and guests, and with a “terrorist” in our midst at John Morris’  loft on the evening of June 11th.   The “terrorist” label for Guy Wyser-Pratte came from a French financial journal that called him an ex-marine qui terrorize nos patrons.  Wyser-Pratte, who has been called other names, including corporate raider, in his forty years of shareholder activism, did not contest the truth of that headline in his talk to the AAPA. In keeping with his straight-from-the-shoulder style, he kicked off the discussion by saying: “J¹accuse!, ” and …