Strengthening European Growth and Competitiveness: Proactive Trade Agenda – NOW!

Trade and Investment are hugely important for the EU: While most of the world growth is expected to take place outside EU, our growth, competiveness and jobs depend on trade and investment. The EU cannot risk falling behind in the global race to build a wide and ambitious network of free trade agreements. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (involving 12 countries and 40% of world GDP) is a timely reminder of this. The aim of this seminar is to examine how to make the most of the trade agreements and to best contribute positively to the debate as they (CETA – TTIP – TiSA – EU-Japan) increasingly become a top political issue.

By Invitation Only.


8.30 Registration and welcome coffee
9.00 Welcome address
Mr Jyri Häkämies, Director General, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK
Mr Jacek Krawczyk, President of the Employers’ Group, EESC
Keynote Speech: Growth and Competitiveness in Europe: Case Finland
Dr Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs, Government of Finland
9.30 How can EU strengthen its position as a global player?
Mr Philippe de Buck, Rapporteur for the recent EESC opinion on TTIP, Member of the Employers’ Group, EESC
Trade challenges and opportunities from a Finnish business perspective
Ms Johanna Ikäheimo, Vice Chairman, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, Chairman, Lappset Group
9.45 Panel 1: Overview on ongoing trade agreements: what’s at stake?
H.E. Mr Charles Adams, US Ambassador to Finland
Ms Signe Ratso, Director, Trade strategy and analysis, market access, DG TRADE
Mr Matti Anttonen, Under-Secretary of State, External Economic Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Questions & Answers
Mr Jacek Krawczyk, President of the Employers’ Group, EESC
10.30 Coffee Break
10.45 Panel 2: How can trade agreements bring more competitiveness and growth for all?
Ms Dilyana Slavova, President of the REX section, EESC
Ms Hanna Deringer, Policy analyst, European Centre for International Political Economy
Mr Esa Kaunistola, Vice-chairman, EK Trade Policy Committee, Director, EMEA IP, Standards and Trade Policy, Microsoft
Ms Li Andersson, Chairperson, Left Alliance, Member of Parliament
Mr Aleksi Kuusisto, Adviser for International Affairs, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK
Questions & Answers
Moderator: Mr Timo Vuori, Executive Director, ICC Finland, Member of the Employers’ Group, EESC
12.00 Concluding remarks
Mr Jonathan Peel, Vice-President of REX section, Member of the Employers’ Group, EESC
The conference will be followed by a Networking Lunch offered by the Employers’ Group.
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