Speaking at a joint Metro and EuroCommerce conference, Digitalisation of SMEs: How to make it possible, in Brussels today EuroCommerce, speaking on behalf of its Vice-President Patricia Hoogstraaten, called for a proactive European SME policy reflecting the major challenges arising from digitalisation and changes in consumer behaviour and their impact on small retailers and wholesalers, and said:
“Small retailers and wholesalers are often leaders in innovation and in adapting to fast-changing customer demand. But they struggle with gaining access to expertise and resources needed to take full advantage of the new technology. We very much support the call of the Network of the SME Envoys for a forward-looking EU SME policy and are pleased that Ursula von der Leyen announced a dedicated SME strategy as a priority for her Presidency of the European Commission. SMEs are vital to the EU economy as a whole, but vulnerable; they need regulatory action and financial support, tailored to their ways of operating, and targeted at enabling them to benefit fully from a vibrant European Digital Single Market.”
Speaking today at the annual UNI Europa Commerce sector Conference in Bucharest, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren underlined the importance of social partners working together to ensure that the 29 million Europeans working in retail and wholesale are equipped to have sustainable and rewarding jobs in this rapidly-changing commercial environment.
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Commenting on the presentation yesterday of the OECD Secretariat’s proposals on tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren commented:
“We have been consistently supportive of the OECD’s efforts to reform and adjust the global taxation system to the challenges of the 21st century. The fiscal environment has significantly changed and today’s proposal is a major step towards a fairer and more modern tax system. This proposal is a valuable contribution to the discussions in the G20, and we ask governments to decide and act on them swiftly.”
EuroCommerce joins the Circular Plastics Alliance as retailers & wholesalers contribute to a more sustainable futureRead more
EuroCommerce today joined the Circular Plastics Alliance. Retailers and wholesalers have been playing an active role in increasing the sustainability of the products they sell. They work to influence and support sustainable consumption by reducing unnecessary use of virgin materials, optimising its logistics, and offering alternatives to plastic in products and their packaging. They also work to inform consumers about sustainable choices, and use the long-term partnerships with suppliers to encourage all parts of the supply chain to think and act sustainably.
EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…
The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.
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The retail and wholesale sector is the largest private employer, giving worthwhile jobs to 29 million Europeans, delivering vital services to business, and daily essentials to 500 million Europeans. Retailers and wholesalers are already embracing digital technology in all its different forms to provide services and goods that people want in the way - and when - they need them.
But this revolution brings with it major challenges: to prosper, companies need not only to react to, but anticipate, accelerating changes in technology and consumer demand. In the second of EuroCommerce’s digital lectures, Nabeela Ixtabalan, Digital Transformation Manager at Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system operating IKEA Retail in 30 countries. Ms Ixtabalan will present her company’s values-driven approach to the digitalisation of their business model, and its wider relevance for the future of retail and wholesale.
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European employers are concerned about the growing skills mismatches and labour force shortages in a majority of Member States. If left unaddressed, this worrying trend will have a negative impact on innovation and productivity, both in highly innovative industry sectors and other services sectors, some of which are already confronted with the challenge of attracting motivated and competent workers.
To address this pressing issue, cross-industry and sectoral employers are issuing this statement to call on policy-makers and social partners at all appropriate levels to prioritise measures designed with the purpose to reduce labour shortages by improving skills matching across European Member States.
Labour force shortages and skills mismatches are caused by both cyclical and structural factors, both of which need to be addressed. Positively, the cycle of economic recovery over recent years has resulted in strong employment creation.
An easier consumer journey when buying online - Business presents new tool to improve consumer informationRead more
Today the European business community is presenting its voluntary tool to better inform consumers when they’re shopping online. The aim is to help companies find good ways to present their information to consumers including standard terms and conditions.
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Speaking today after the signature over the weekend in Hanoi of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade and Investment Protection Agreements, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren commented:
“We have been pressing for a free trade agreement with Vietnam for many years. We are therefore very pleased that Commissioner Malmström and her Vietnamese counterpart were able to sign these two agreements yesterday in Hanoi. This is the most ambitious EU agreement ever signed with a developing country, and after more than three years since the initial deal was struck, we hope to see the agreements ratified and in force as soon as possible.”