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EUROCHAMBRES wants one Competitiveness Council each year on SME policy
Speaking at the Informal Competitiveness Council meeting on the modernisation of public administration today, EUROCHAMBRES’ Secretary General Arnaldo Abruzzini pushed for one Competitiveness Council each year to be dedicated exclusively to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“The gap between the adoption and the delivery of SME policy is sometimes alarming.  We have a late payment directive that obliges public administrations to pay bills in 30 days, but in Italy it still takes 170.  We have an objective to reduce business start-up time to three days, but in 2012 it was still taking 5.4 days.  Until this delivery deficit is tackled, progress towards making Europe a more SME friendly place will remain slow,” said Mr Abruzzini.

EUROCHAMBRES also reminded ministers that a vibrant and innovative SME community is a key element in tackling escalating youth unemployment.  “SMEs are the main source of innovation and job creation. And we must encourage those among the millions of young people who cannot find employment to themselves be entrepreneurial – perhaps they cannot find a job, but they may be able to create their own.”


Further information: Mrs Typhaine Beaup?rin-Holvoet, Tel. +32 2 282 08 80,

Press contact: Ms Guendalina Cominotti, Tel. +32 2 282 08 66,

All EUROCHAMBRES’ press releases can be downloaded from

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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