The sun was shining on the French Atlantic holiday resort of La Baule but one group of tourists was there to discuss the economic climate.
The World Investment Conference is in La Baule for its seventh edition, trying to find answers to the economic crisis and make sure Europe remains an attractive place for investment. The event’s organiser said of the conference: “With this exchange of ideas, all the participants can leave with ideas and the ability to implement these ideas. Also what I want to do, like we do every year, is to create a book of proposals. Then we can hand these proposals, of which the conferences usually produce about fifty, to politicians.” There may be doubts in Europe over its ability to emerge from recession but some analysts said the rest of the world had faith in in the old continent. “The world’s perception of Europe and this is normal, is that it remains ‘Old Europe,’ even though it is the world’s first economy. That means above all that long-term projects, and this is also normal, are oriented towards emerging economies that are very much emerged, like China, India, Latin America and probably Russia.” An official Hungarian delegation was among those in search of new ideas. “We have introduced tools and methods that we used to apply in the business sector, very strict monitoring, very strict reporting on different actions that we have defined in advance for managing the crisis.” It might be another year before the sun shines again on the world economy but by then the seeds planted in La Baule will hopefully have sprouted.