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Insiders Breakfast: What the Strong Euro Means for You - An Exchange of Views | 2004-Mar-10

WNG Insider's Breakfast - Panel Presentation

"What the Strong Euro Means for You - An Exchange of Views"

On Wednesday, March 10, 2004, the Washington Network Group and the International Trade Association of Northern Virginia jointly convened a special breakfast panel discussion on:

"What the Strong Euro Means for You - An Exchange of Views"

This event took place at The Tower Club in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and was attended by 55 Members and guests.

We were very pleased to present an excellent panel of speakers from the business and policy arenas:

Panel of Speakers

• Michael Maibach, European American Business Council – President (moderator)
• Amy Medearis, Delegation of the European Commission – Senior Economist
• Kevin Grant, Lafarge North America – Vice President & Treasurer
• Mike Browne, Leica Microsystems Semiconductor – Chief Financial Officer
• Sean Fitzgerald, M&T Bank – Foreign Exchange Managing Director

The euro, which symbolizes the relative economic and political unity of Europe, is coming under increasing pressure from an ever-weakening US dollar. Over the past four months, the euro has sharply appreciated in value against many currencies, including the dollar. This means that the 12 countries in the euro zone will have increasing difficulty competing with US-made goods.

The euro climbed to an all-time high of nearly $1.29 on January 12, 2004, up from $1 a few months ago, and 82 cents in October 2000. Prices of European-made products have jumped by 30 to 40 percent, prompting many importers to look to other countries to buy their goods. American companies, however, are seeing increased sales into the EU. European business leaders, bankers, and politicians are concerned that the strength of the euro may stifle the continent's recovery.

So, what does this mean for your business? On March 10th, we examined these pressing issues, and learned what the business experts think you need to know.

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