BUSINESSES, INDUSTRY AND MANUFACTURING
     
Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labour and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, investments are determined by private decision and the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, goods, and services.
 
Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

02 Dec 2019, Klaus Schwab
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Compared to any other economic system this odd mixture of capitalism and free markets that we use makes the average person wonderfully, hugely, stinking rich. The average living standard of a modern inhabitant of the rich world is around 40 times higher than that of just about everyone in history. And that's actually the defining difference of this capitalism and free market mix: it's the only economic system anyone's ever tried which has substantially and sustainably raised the living standards of the average worker drone out in the street. Absolutely no other economic system has managed to achieve that. Sure, there's flavours and varieties, we can argue the benefits of social democracy as against laissez faire all we want. The basic underlying point is true: private ownership of productive assets combined with markets as the planning and information system for the economy just seem to have worked.

But does the economic system still meet the needs of the vast majority of people and are incentives embedded that make it designed to fail in times ahead? The perverse incentives inherent in a largely unconstrained capitalist system still exist. These incentives drive behaviors that increase inequality, reduce social mobility, devalue communities, deplete soils, acidify oceans, destroy biodiversity, trigger mass migrations and social instability, and fuel violence and war. These perverse incentives lead to concrete business practices such as predatory pricing, wage suppression, insufficient investment in a just transition to zero-carbon business models, as well as business trends that are or are likely to impose huge costs on taxpayers resulting from rising contract labor, accelerating automation and worsening natural disasters. From the perspectives of a growing number of business leaders, investors and policy makers, these incentives are now creating unacceptable systemic risk. This is why the systemic design flaws in unconstrained capitalism are creating unlikely bedfellows such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vice President Mike Pence and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.

The good news is that today There Is a Credible Alternative. It is no longer acceptable to lament the constraints of market forces, wishing there were a tool that could harness unconstrained capitalism’s otherwise amoral power for a higher purpose than profit maximization. That tool is here today, and it is in use by companies across the globe. Companies that adopt benefit corporation governance create greater accountability to serve the public interest (that’s all of us, by the way) because they are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders but also on their workers, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.

The point is that the world’s largest investors, political leaders and thought leaders across the ideological spectrum agree on one thing: We need to evolve this institution of capitalism so that it is serving the interests of all people and communities, not just the interests of shareholders. We need to reform the institution of capitalism so that “in order to maximize profit” is no longer the driving force and sole purpose of business.

 

In the U.S., Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert Kennedy, has taken up the concept of moral capitalism as a balance of interests between the productive forces creating wealth for society and all those who stand to benefit from such activity.


Towards a New Paradigm of Company Valuation, A Literature Review of Emerging Frameworks for Long-term Social and Environmental Sustainability

The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism, from the adoption of its ethical Principles for Business 25 years ago in 1994, accepted as necessary for good business risk management prudent responsibility for the impacts of a business on stakeholders. Such concern implicates the future profits of a business. Good risk management of stakeholder relationships makes future profits more certain. Certainty of future earnings improves the net present value of a business. But our financial mechanics of putting a value on a business is timeworn, placing a blindfold on owners, managers and investors, preventing them from seeing clearly the real value of a business. We are convening round tables this year in various cities around the world to explore how valuation methodology can be modernized for the current era of sustainability. Research firm Oxford Analytica prepared a background report on valuation methodology and current initiatives to improve it.

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A DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS?

The late 2000s and early 2010s, a period of general economic decline was observed in world markets, culminating in the Great Recession. A large number of factors were the cause of this: faltering financial and economic systems, rulers from that time, the ever-more flexible regulation and legislation and powerlessness to timely correct, have ensured that societies derailed. The crisis also clearly demonstrated how we are strongly interconnected.

Megalomaniac and mania behavior by the private sector, public administration has remained too far away? In the document
BUSINESS IN A DIFFERENT WAY?, The view of business on dealing with operations (objectives, social interests, sustainability, compliance, thinking from the customer's mind) and 'sharing', which we cannot escape in the future. Also be discussed are preconditions for the business community to thrive and the impact of neoliberalism and capitalist values in its current form.

EU institutions and bodies
While modern and often successful, European business can't afford to stand still in the face of fast-moving technological change and ever-keener foreign competition. EU enterprise policy aims to ensure we keep up with our rivals while also creating jobs. It pays particular attention to the needs of the manufacturing industry and small firms.

The European Commission's Enterprise Europe Network too helps small business to make the most of the European marketplace.

Responding to calls from the Council and the Parliament, the Commission has announced a series of measures designed to target this vulnerable sector of society of unemployed young people aged under 25. Central to the Commission's Youth Employment Package is the concept of a Youth Guarantee. This proposal from the Commission is both timely and highly relevant. With Finland and Austria already implementing such measures, it is hoped the Commission will be able to get member states on board quickly. Implementation is likely to differ from state to state but the goal is the same, the provision of opportunity for Europe’s Youth.

The European Commission developed in 2010 an integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era in order to place industry in the centre to sustain Europe as an economic player on the word stage The policy sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe offering well-paid jobs while becoming more resource efficient.

     

Unlocking industrial opportunities is the 2013's name of the yearly event on policy formulation by providing a platform for high level debates on the optimal conditions for business development in Europe, which platform considered to be a key meeting place for business leaders, diplomats, the public sector and EU-policy makers. The event, organised by European Business Summit, is focussing on Europe's need to re-industrialise in order to become more competitive and sustainable and enables participants to gain a bottom-up perspective about what companies want from EU policy makers and on encouraging business leaders to engage more with EU policy makers, to develop a real pan-EU business dialogue.
The conferensce is dynamic in the issue it tackles and its associated studies/surveys- ensuring the best possible outcomes for business participants and policy makers.

     

In April 2013, during the 4th Brussels Think Tank Dialogue, the policy was discussed. The Dialogue focused on the labour market potential of the Commission’s current strategy for a European industrial policy by elaborating on three main questions: What are the net employment effects of the “Third Industrial Revolution” the Commission strives for? What kind of labour markets and training policies does the EU need to address skill mismatches? And finally, to what extent are the employment benefits and costs of a integrated industrial policy equally distributed amongst member states and regions and what does this imply for mobility and migration within the EU?

The Commission argues that the Europeans need a coordinated policy response to tackle current economic challenges. From the Commission’s point of view, only better coordination of member states’ industrial policies and pooling available resources can make the EU a successful competitive player in the global market and mitigate internal competitiveness gaps between its member states.
The
conference paper addresses the great diversity and heterogeneity of industrial structures and labour markets in EU member states, which considerably contribute to national rivalries, the structural East-West divide, and the grown core-periphery divide between Northern and Southern eurozone members. There is a future for industrry and manufacturing, in which enterprises and starting and existing SME's are involved. But how to get people back into jobs? And what should happen and be done, if a shift from the West to the East occurs? Do we have enough approaches and enough integrated industrial policy to safeguard? And what about investments?

4th Brussels Think Tank Dialogue, debate on the EU new industrial policy
     

A global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest to provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. The mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.
Founded in 1916, The Conference Board is an objective, independent source of economic and business knowledge with one agenda: to help our member companies understand and deal with the most critical issues of our time
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The Conference Board conduct research and convene business leaders in forums large and small, public and private. The insights captured through our extensive network feed directly back into our research and meeting agendas, ensuring that our activities remain sharply focused on the key issues of the day, works within and across four main subject areas – Corporate Leadership; Economies, Markets & Value Creation; High-Performing Organizations; and Human Capital – to create a unique, enterprise-wide perspective that helps business leaders respond today, anticipate tomorrow, and make the right strategic decisions every day and provide:

- objective, world-renowned economic data and analyses that help business and policy leaders make sense of their operating environments;
- in-depth research and best practices concerning management, leadership, and corporate citizenship;
- public and private forums in which executives learn with and from their peers;
- a platform and thought leadership for the business community worldwide.

     

Eurociett was established as the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies to promote common interests of the agency work industry in Europe. The confederation brings together 31 national federations of the private employment agency industry in Europe, and 7  of the largest, multinational staffing companies worldwide.

This is done especially by:

  • seeking greater recognition for the contribution that private employment agencies make to better functioning labour markets, especially in relation to three key aspects: job creation, access to and integration in the labour market of diverse groups of workers, economic growth and tax revenues;
  • creating the most suitable regulatory environment for the industry in Europe;

  • supporting the European policy objective of increasing EU’s competitiveness, growth and employment;

  • raising quality standards for the industry and fighting against rogue providers;

  • improving the image of the industry and strengthening its reputation.

     

BusinessEurope

- Is Europe doing enough to fight the credit crisis?

- Companies access to finance: a European action

BUSINESSEUROPE plays a crucial role in Europe as the main horizontal business organisation at EU level. Through its 41 member federations, BUSINESSEUROPE represents more than 20 million companies from 35 countries. Its main task is to ensure that companies' interests are represented and defended vis-à-vis the European institutions with the principal aim of preserving and strengthening corporate competitiveness. BUSINESSEUROPE is active in the European social dialogue to promote the smooth functioning of labour markets.

In a policy document presented on 26 June 2012, BUSINESSEUROPE and all its members urge to take all the necessary decisions without further delay to restore confidence and put Europe back on track. In its five-point plan 'Growing out of the crisis' BUSINESSEUROPE presents concrete measures to:

  • Safeguard the euro: All possible means must be used to safeguard the euro;

  • Improve public finances and speed up structural reforms: Only when businesses and households are sure that governments have fully committed to putting their public finances on a sustainable path, will they have the confidence to invest, recruit workers and increase consumption;

  • Promote private investment: Europe needs a stronger investment and competitiveness agenda to build prive-sector trust and confidence;

  • Unleash the single market: The single market adds EUR 600 a year to our economy. Since 1992 it has helped create almost 3 million new jobs across the EU, and benefited the broader European Economic Area;

  • Expand EU external trade: With almost 30 million EU jobs (more than 10% of the EU workforce) dependent upon export markets outside the EU, Europe needs to build a strong presence in expanding global markets.

This strategy will allow Europe to double its long-term annual growth rate from 1.25% to 2.5%.

 

UEAPME is the employers’ organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level. UEAPME is a recognised European Social Partner. It is a non-profit seeking and non-partisan organisation.
As the European SME umbrella organisation, UEAPME incorporates 84 member organisations from 34 countries consisting of national cross-sectorial SME federations, European branch federations and other associate members, which support the SME family. UEAPME represents more than 12 million enterprises, which employ around 55 million people across Europe.
     

BDI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie), a wide network in Germany and Europe in all important markets and international organizations, which provides political back-up for the opening up of international markets and it offers information and economic policy advice on all topics relevant to industry, published in November 2011 the study 'Germany 2030 Future Perspective for Value Creation. The results of this study go beyond the extrapolation of trends or the condensing of existing studies on future research. The analysis focuses on the disruptions and possible developments which could have a major impact on the manner and the extent of what we (in Germany) produce and consume.

What radical technological, economic and social changes can be expected by 2030 and what possible effects can they have on value creation and jobs in Germany? How can the opportunities be grasped and the risks minimised? How should the overall political framework be devised, especially with regard to the promotion of research?

 

To improve the overall approach to entrepreneurship, to irreversibly anchor the ´Think Small First´ principle in policy making from regulation to public service and to promote SME´s growth by helping them tackle the remaining problems which hamper their development, it was questioned in March 2010 if a Small business act for Europe is needed.

It is the time, once and for all, to cement the needs of SME´s in the forefront of the EU´s policy.
The SBA brings the full weight of Europe behind SME´s - enlisting all the resources of Europe to help small business in their daily business and to clear the path for those that want to create more jobs and grow in Europe and beyond.´

The idea is to create a strong more accessible environment for SME's. Key recommendations are ade in the report on categories 'definition of SMILEs and policy', 'proportionate offering and listing requirements', 'proportionate on-going requirements', 'market integrity', 'investor's interest for SMILEs' and, 'Think Small - Act Big".

Mme C. Lagarde at CEPS
     

The CBI's mission to promote the conditions in which businesses of all sizes and sectors in the UK can compete and prosper for the benefit of all. To achieve this, campaigning is in the UK, the EU and internationally for a competitive policy landscape. The CBI is the UK's premier business lobbying organisation, providing a voice for employers at a national and international level to provide a voice for businesspeople and their businesses on a national and international level. "We speak for more than 240,000 companies of every size, including many in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 350, mid-caps, SMEs, micro businesses, private and family owned businesses, start ups, and trade associations..."'…and in every sector, including agriculture, automotive, aerospace and defence, construction, creative and communications, financial services, IT and e-business, management consultancy, manufacturing, professional services, retail, transport, tourism and utilities" .

Confederation of British Industry
     

ERT today brings together up to 50 chief executives and chairmen of major multinational companies of European parentage, covering a wide range of industrial sectors. Individuals join at the personal invitation of existing Members, which confers on ERT membership a personal rather than corporate character.

ERT Members meet twice a year, in person, at Plenary Sessions. At these Plenary Sessions, Members determine ERT’s work programme, set priorities and establish specialised Working Groups to work on them. Decisions are taken by consensus


ERT's vision report