On the 18th of November, thanks to the invaluable support of Empresas Familiares, the voice of Portuguese family businesses, the 3rd European Family Business Summit took place in Lisbon. 140 family business leaders from 17 countries came together to discuss topical political and business issues faced by family-owned companies.
Anthony Gardner, US Ambassador to the European Union, delivered a rousing keynote on the future relationship of the Unites States of America and the European Union. Ambassador Gardner articulated his firm belief that `the relations of the EU and the USA are a power to do good.’ Ambassador Gardner noted that, despite popular opinion, he believed that Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would have been a chance for both continents to set global standards on trade and to lower burdens for business. Ambassador Gardner noted that ‘Family business owners understand the importance of stability, strong democratic institutions, a healthy middle class and free markets. So, they should be concerned that free trade and globalization are considered toxic in much of Europe today.’ He encouraged the audience to be passionate, `we cannot allow the radicals to have a monopoly on passion.’
In his closing address, Alfonso Líbano, Chairman of European Family Businesses, declared that, more than ever, family businesses must fulfil the duty to be a stable pillar of the European continent: ‘they need to demonstrate that they are the best source for long term growth and responsible ownership.’ Political recognition of this fact, he noted, has been growing steadily. Mr Libano stated that to maintain the growth of family businesses it is essential to strengthen long term patient capital. He concluded that this should underpin the overall regulatory framework to support family businesses, through long term capital and simple business transfers.
You can watch the summary video, see the pictures, and read the full report on our website: