After any survey, gaining feedback on how it was received is almost, if not as, important as the survey itself. This is especially true when we’re talking about larger, established biannual surveys such as the Luxembourg Business Compass – a barometer of business leaders’ expectations regarding future economic trends that we conduct together with the Luxemburger Wort.
Being invited to debate the results at this month’s British Chamber of Commerce event was a stroke of luck– the perfect occasion to gauge the public’s thoughts. Three key takeaways emerged from the event, where debate focused on competitiveness – let me share them with you.
Big data, big opportunity
The buzz word for the evening was big data. Its main advocate, Jean-Paul Zens, Director of Media & Communications at the Ministry of State, was particularly enthusiastic on the subject. He drew attention to the superb data centres on offer in Luxembourg, their enormous capacity and high security standards. A second panelist and President of FEDIL and CEO Chaux de Contern, Robert Dennewald, had recently led an economic roadshow to the West Coast of America, where this topic had featured highly. Across the Atlantic, the appetite for data centres had been large and Luxembourg was viewed as well placed in this sector. With its geographic advantage at the very heart of Europe – in addition to its pragmatic tax framework – this will represent an excellent opportunity for future growth.
Reduction of administrative burden
Questions in the survey on availability of work permits and the administrative burden on companies also sparked debate amongst the panelists and audience. According to one panelist, negotiations on administrative simplification were ongoing with the previous government and – after a long period of hard work – major progress had been made. Panelists expressed optimism that this may serve as input for the country’s new leaders when they take over the reins next month. This would be good news for our survey respondents: 57% believed that streamlining the government administration and reducing bureaucratic red tape should be high on the next government’s agenda.
Another source of discussion at the conference was the indexation mechanism – with an overwhelming consensus that this will remain a hot topic in the future. Our survey respondents also gave a clear message on indexation, with 40% believing that this should be prioritized by the incoming government. In fact, our conference attendees went slightly further – the general sentiment was that ‘the index must go’ in order to ensure long-term sustainability and maintain competitiveness. I’d be rather inclined to agree.
- For the full survey result, visit the LBC portal
- For the photo gallery from the event visit the British Chamber of Commerce website.
Program: Luxembourg at the Crossroads: BCC Evening Business Forum
13 November 2013
John Johnston (CEO at Champ Cargosystems S.A., Chairman of BCC)
Presentation of the Luxembourg Business Compass results:
Patrick Wies (Partner, Public Sector & National Markets at KPMG);
Gilles Poncin (Director, Public Sector & National Markets at KPMG).
Georges Bock (Managing Partner at KPMG) moderator;
Robert Dennewald (President of FEDIL and CEO Chaux de Contern);
Nigel Fielding (CEO HSBC);
Jeannot Krecké (Former Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade);
Jean-Paul Zens (Director of Media & Communications, Ministry of State).