March 14th 2014

The world is moving closer together and Europe must reposition itself – and we are all Europe!

Christoph Leitl, President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Christoph Leitl, President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce as a visiting speaker in the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series at the Entrepreneurial School® on March 6, 2014:

Christoph Leitl, one of Austria’s leading economic strategists, started his talk by stressing the importance of a European Union as a common home for all Europeans and contrasted that with the Europe of the past. He said it was thanks to Europe and the countries of the European Union that wars between European countries were now only the stuff of history books and that open borders, a common currency and cooperation within the European community were the elements of a success story that was now taken for granted. “And yet it is right, important and necessary not to lose sight of the past,” said Dr. Leitl and added that it would be unwise to rest on one’s laurels.

According to the President of the Chamber of Commerce, we will win the competition at the level of costs. He said that the welfare state, our longer lives and hence longer pension payment periods, higher labor costs and more bureaucracy were just some of the reasons why we cannot compete with the “hungry” countries of Asia, Africa and South America. If we are to be able to pay our bills tomorrow, we have to ensure that we have the creativity, power of innovation and qualifications needed to maintain our ability to compete. “And that is only possible if we pull together in a strong Europe,” concluded a man who is palpably an ardent European.

The talk was moderated by the MCI’s Rector Andreas Altman.