Fabian Demicoli

GRTU attends EuroCommerce 20 years celebrations

Last week GRTU President Paul Abela and EU Desk Coordinator
Abigail Mamo have attended the celebrations marking the 20 years from the
establishment of EuroCommerce. GRTU is member of EuroCommerce as the umbrella
association for retail, wholesale and international trade at Brussels level.

The celebration included a dinner and followed, on the
following day, by an Annual General Meeting.  The celebrations were
introduced by EuroCommerce Director General Christian Verschueren and a speech
was delivered by EuroCommerce President, Baroness Neville-Rolfe.                             

In her speech Baronesse
Rolfe stated that "The retail and wholesale sector, the largest employer of
young people in Europe, has a prominent role to play in reigniting growth and
prosperity for the next generation".

During the event EuroCommerce launched its electoral
manifesto with key messages ahead of the European Parliament elections and the
new team of European Commissioners in 2014. The main themes are:

First, encouraging growth through innovation and improving
the lives of consumers by maximising the digital and mobile revolution;

Second, making markets more open and improving European
competitiveness, so that we are not left behind by Asia;

Third, further nurturing sustainable enterprises and
supporting fair supplier relations through joint voluntary endeavour."

The guests were addressed also by the President of the
European Council, Herman van Rompuy said, "Jobs remain the ultimate goal. But
it's only going to work if businesses – and especially retail – are actively
involved. Helping entrepreneurship spread, one new worker at a time: it's our
surest path back to lasting growth."

The European retail, wholesale and international trade sector
is undergoing a major transformation, driven primarily by the rapid expansion
of the digital economy. Shops are adapting at pace, anticipating customers'
changing needs and preferenc­es. This e-commerce revolution has coincided with
continuing recession in many Member States. Consumer spending is down and
competition is fierce, putting a premium on innovation and efficiency, while
making it harder to earn a return on investment.

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