Thursday

22nd Oct 2020

EU business slips down global list

The EU has plenty of catching up to do if it is to succeed in its goal of becoming the most competitive economy in the World by 2010.

EU companies are slipping down the list when it comes to competing with their American counterparts. The Business Week global top 1000 - which lists the top 1000 companies in the World by market capitalisation - leaves the European business community with plenty of work to do.

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The list, published in the latest edition of Business Week, boasts only two EU companies in the top 10. These are the Anglo-Dutch company Shell, ranked 8th, and British Petroleum (BP) ranked 9th. However, both of these companies have slipped down a place since last year, despite profiting from higher oil prices due to the Iraq conflict.

British companies dominate the upper echelons of the EU list, with telecommunications giant Vodafone, HSBC bank and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline ranked 12th, 14th and 16th respectively. The first non-British EU firm comes in at 24 in the ranking - occupied by French oil company Total.

Far from Lisbon goals

Overall, EU companies are conspicuous by their absence in the top 100, occupying just 30 places, compared to 57 American firms. This is especially surprising given the current high levels of the euro against the US dollar, which makes a company appear more valuable when its market capitalisation is measured in US dollars, as in this list.

In 2000, the EU set itself the goal of becoming the most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. This process is known as the Lisbon agenda. On this evidence, the EU has some way to go before it can claim to have fulfilled its Lisbon goals.

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