If delegates at the World Investment Conference at La Baule on the west coast of France took a moment to look out of their hotel windows, they would see the only thing between them and North America.
The ocean has never been easy to cross. But the governor of Texas, Rick Perry is at the WIC to press for a stronger trans-Atlantic business links, especially in new technologies. He told EuroNews:
“I think it’s important for us to continue to have these strong ties. I’m a big believer that the more you do business with each other, the better the relationship will be; the more you will trust each other; the more stable the relationship will be.”
Given the challenges of globalisation, some delegates say an exchange of brain-power and competitive advantage maight be the key to worldwide success, especially in telecoms.
François Barrault, the CEO of BT Services said: “The United States is our biggest growth sector. We’ve bought four companies there, the dollar is weak, and you can find qualified staff there cheaply. I’d be inclined to say that you could invest more in the United States at the moment than in Bangalore in India.”
The idea of being partners and competitors at the same time might appear contradictory, but according to Gordon Bajnai, the Hungarian Minister for National Development and the Economy, that shouldn’t pose a problem.
“There is a mutual fight for the markets, which is quite normal. But I think through the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of foreign direct investment into each other’s territory, to find joint research projects, that would be the way forward. And my country is working on that,” he said.