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German, French Businesses Hold Economic Summit in Paris

Germany and France are Europe's biggest economies and both are currently suffering similar problems: sluggish growth and high budget deficits. Business leaders from both countries held a conference in Paris on Monday to see how they can help resolve some of those difficulties. With over 400 business representatives attending, interest in the Franco-German conference was substantial. The business leaders all agreed that they must work more closely together in the future. "It's important for us not to fall asleep at the wheel, but rather make the necessary reforms," said Philippe Carli of the German-French Chamber of Commerce. "Social reforms are especially important so that France and German remain attractive in Europe." With its higher wages, non-wage costs and taxes, Europe is having a tough time remaining attractive on the world market. "I think the importance of Europe on the world market is not as defined as the U.S. for example," said Siemens executive group manager Rudi Lamprecht. "I think the German-French partnership is very important in this respect. Because both countries are important factors on the world stage and it can only help us if both come closer to each other." Both countries hope to profit from closer cooperation.