Sarkozy wants US conditions for small business

2nd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, July 2, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will fight for Europe to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with conditions similar to those in the United States, he said Friday in Lyon.

LYON, France,  July 2, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will fight for Europe to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with conditions similar to those in the United States, he said Friday in Lyon.

"The Americans reserve 20 percent of their public contracts for SMEs," he told salaried workers at a company in the central French city.

"I don't accept unfair competition. There is no reason why the Americans have the right to do something that Europeans don't have the right to do."

Sarkozy said "we are going to fight" at the European Commission and before the World Trade Organisation, adding that the issue was crucial because such measures would help "resolve the French economic problem."

"Not enough of our small businesses become medium-sized businesses," the French president said.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde was with Sarkozy during his visit to two companies, and said they wanted to "develop a French-style Small Business Act" or SBA to help French companies.

"The SBA is one way we will boost companies, SMEs in particular," Lagarde said.

"We will also begin to simplify procedures by taking a fresh look at the public works code to allow SMEs access to public contracts," she explained.

"There is every interest in doing this at a French and also European level," the minister said.

The US Small Business Act grants small and medium sized enterprises access to public contracts, which could amount to about "a trillion euros (1.35 trillion dollars) a year in Europe," Lagarde said.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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