During a trip last week to Europe to meet several growing companies, I was reminded of our special relationship with not only Great Britain, but the entire European Union. Business relationships require the sharing of both ideals and ideas, and can be simultaneously complex and simple.
The economic relationship we have with the EU is complex for many reasons, including the stress brought on by our most recent global recession, troubles within the EU itself and the quickly shifting economies in Asia and the Middle East. It is simple in that we know each other well, and have lived through both tough times and boom cycles together. These ups and downs have forged a bond that allows us to trust each other enough to take the risks necessary to trade, invest and move economic policy forward.
And yet, relationships require work. Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for the United Kingdom, made a powerful speech last week that underlined the “special relationship” with the United States and argued for keeping the U.K. in the European Union at the British American Business Council’s annual meeting. He urged his countrymen to use both their heads and their hearts in making this decision.
Our hearts tell us that we can go it alone, that we have to the capacity and persistence to enter markets and compete on our own merits. Our heads tell us that economic development is built on the foundation of personal relationships and require care, understanding and practical deal-making.
One Columbus Update
- Our team is in Japan this week, developing the relationships that can carry us forward with that country. We’ll also be in Washington, D.C., meeting with companies and consultants.
- Another great announcement was made last week by our great friends at Honda! Check out this quick video.
- Tomorrow, the Columbus Region Logistics Council is holding an educational event at the IBM Center for Advanced Analytics. Attendees will learn more about Central Ohio Logistics and Big Data.