Europe’s future as an economic power will be determined by its willingness to continue its integration and to adopt a common currency, Jeffrey Rosensweig, professor of international business and finance at Emory University, said at a luncheon last week organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. (GACC).
Speaking at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel downtown Sept. 18 to Atlanta’s European business and consular community, Dr. Rosensweig called Europe “the world’s largest trading power,” and the “center of international business.” But he questioned how long this predominance would last in view of its stagnant population and economic growth. “Without pan-European dialogue and without cooperation,” he said, “Europe really runs the risk of marginalizing itself.”He also pointed to the dramatic slide in Europe’s percentage of world population from some one third at the beginning of the century to less than 15% today.
And he did not seem impressed with Germany’s trade surplus, saying that it reflected a stagnant economy which was not importing many goods for infrastructure and other development projects.
He did approve of the recent decline versus the dollar of European currencies, however, which he said have been overvalued and responsible for the “hollowing out” of the continent’s manufacturing sector as it established facilities overseas.