13 Jan 2012

Twenty years on from the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the creation of the euro, research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that, despite the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, business leaders remain very supportive of the single currency.

The research reveals that almost four in five (78%) business leaders in the eurozone believe joining the euro has had a positive impact on their business. The main positive impacts cited are the boost to trade with other euro countries (23%), the elimination of exchange rate risk (15%) and greater transparency on prices (12%).

Business leaders were also asked about the drawbacks associated with joining the single currency – 57% cited a rise in costs and prices – but when asked if they would like to see the euro survive, an overwhelming 92% agreed. Businesses in Finland (90%) and Belgium (84%) are the most positive about the impact of the single currency, with those in Italy (48%) the least. The two regional economic heavyweights, Germany (79%) and France (71%), remain solidly supportive.

Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton International, said: “If a referendum on the future of the euro were held today amongst business leaders, then the result would be emphatically to keep it going. This represents economic realism on the part of businesses; Europe may have already gone back into recession but a break-up of the single currency could take the global economy down with it.

“Despite the sovereign debt crisis and the uncertainty this has caused, businesses remain supportive of the single currency. Politicians should take heed of the wishes of businesses as they search for resolutions that secure the future of the euro, and map out plans for future European integration.”

The future of the eurozone

The IBR reveals that business views on further European integration are more mixed. Less than one in three eurozone businesses said they would like to see the single currency expand (31%), although interestingly, those in the troubled economies of Greece (62%) and Spain (53%) are most keen to welcome new entrants.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of eurozone businesses (24%) would like to see some countries drop out of the single currency. This is a popular option in the only remaining eurozone members with AAA-rated sovereign debt: Finland (50%), Germany (40%) and the Netherlands (24%).

Outside the eurozone the picture is also varied; the majority of business leaders in Poland (64%) and Denmark (62%) would like their country to join the single currency. But few of their peers in the UK (12%) and Sweden (28%) agree. Outside the EU, 88% of businesses in Turkey would like their economy to integrate further with Europe, but just 32% would like to join the euro.

Ed Nusbaum added: “The next few months could be the most significant in the history of the single currency, and arguably of the EU itself. The good news is that business support for keeping the euro intact remains robust.

“However, many substantial challenges lie ahead. Perhaps the most important is reducing government debt – which exceeds the 60% threshold for entrance into the single currency set out in the Maastricht Treaty 20 years ago in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and Ireland – whilst ensuring that austerity does not strangle business growth prospects.”

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Notes to editors
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of over 11,500 businesses per year across 40 economies. This unique survey draws upon 20 years of trend data for most European participants and nine years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com.

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19 Dec 2011

1. Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton carries out its verification and validation assignments for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects and verification assignments of greenhouse gas emission inventory projects according to the ISO-14064 standard and other recognized applicable standards. The latter require that the verifier or validator remain independent of the activity being verified or validated, avoid biases and conflicts of interest and remain objective throughout the validation or verification to guarantee that the results and conclusions will be based on tangible proof obtained through the validation or verification.

2. As a chartered professional accountants firm, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has an assurance practice that complies with Canadian Audit Standards that apply to all assurance engagements, including greenhouse gas emission verification. All Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Partners and employees must adhere to the independence standards that apply to their profession. To this end, the general provisions on independence of the code of ethics of chartered professional accountants of Québec require that the member carrying out or participating in an assurance engagement or an application of specified auditing procedures engagement be and remain free of any influence, interest and relationship that, in respect of such engagement, could affect his or her professional judgement or objectivity or that could be interpreted as such in the eyes of a reasonable observer.

3. In order to meet the greenhouse gas verification standards and the code of ethics of chartered professional accountants of Québec, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s Environment Group on Greenhouse Gases requires the following from Partners and employees:

a) Total compliance with the greenhouse gas verification standards regarding one’s independence from an entity’s activities on which we are issuing a verification or validation report as well as from an entity that produced a quantification report subject to our verification or validation report.

b)
Total compliance with the section on independence of the code of ethics of chartered professional accountants of Québec regarding an entity’s activities for which we are issuing a verification or validation report as well as an entity that produced a quantification report subject to our verification or validation report.

c)
Total compliance with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s independence standards.

d)
Before the work begins, all engagement team members must declare their independence with respect to an entity for which we are issuing a verification or validation report as well as an entity that produced a quantification report subject to our verification or validation report.

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15 Dec 2011

Montréal, December 15, 2011 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is taking advantage of the adoption of the Regulation respecting the cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand, to reiterate its support of this initiative benefiting numerous Quebec companies.

According to Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, this announcement allows Québec companies to start preparing now for the implementation of the cap-and-trade system and the transition period that will lead to enforcing the greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations as of January 2013. The regulation is consistent with multiple Quebec initiatives already in place to counter climate changes.

“The emission allowance market currently being created is good news for our numerous companies in the clean technologies sector and innovative industrial establishments in Quebec. With the 2013 regulations, Quebec companies will definitely be able to benefit concretely from this new GHG market,” remarked Roger Fournier, Lead Senior Manager, Environment, Greenhouse Gases and GHG Certification Specialist at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

“This system will accept offset credits so that companies subject to the regulation will be able to comply. We see this as an excellent business opportunity for various non-regulated Quebec companies that are innovating and adopting best practices for environmental protection. Companies that reduce their emissions may possibly be able to sell their offset credits to regulated entities. With this system, Quebec is demonstrating its leadership once again and confirming the importance of contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions for our generation and those to come,” Mr. Fournier concluded.

The memorandum submitted by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton in connection with the public consultations held for the regulation project is available here: http://www.rcgt.com/ghg-memorandum.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting, business recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to a team of over 2,000 people, including over 225 partners in more than 90 offices in Quebec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network has made the Firm the leader in its sector of activities. Additionally, for more than thirty years now, our Firm has also been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd., providing its clientele with access to the expertise of member and correspondent firms in over 100 countries.

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Information:

Francis Letendre
Public Relations Consultant
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel.: 514 390-4201
Cell: 514 554-1685
letendre.fr[email protected]
www.rcgt.com

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08 Dec 2011

When she reached the summit of Vinson Massif in Antarctica on November 26, 2011, Véronique Denys, Tax Manager in the Québec City office, became the first Quebec woman to have scaled to the top of the highest mountain peak on each of the seven continents.

To celebrate her return, a press conference was held on December 6 at the Québec City office. Several members of the media attended, giving the news fitting visibility.

Once again, congratulations to Véronique Denys, a true source of inspiration for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton employees and Partners!

To read our official press release, please go to “Press and Publications” on the RCGT.com Web site.

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