Asked if non-adoption of the single currency would put this country at a competitive disadvantage, 40% of UK FDs surveyed said it wouldn’t – but the same number said it would.
One FD surveyed said: “Why would a eurozone company want to trade with a non-euro economy when they have a choice of 11 other countries all using the same currency?”
Of the 20% of finance directors who remain neutral one said: “We have been at a competitive disadvantage in Europe for years because of our exchange rate anyway.”
In the wider business arena, UPS Europe Business Monitor, which surveyed 1,500 executives across Europe, found that 51% of UK executives do not see the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2002 as a challenge to existing business.
On the downside, 22% of UK executives cite the cost of changing accounting systems as a problem. Increased transparency in the eurozone is also a worry (22% of UK respondents), as is easy access to euro markets (20%).
But the survey also reveals that UK business is predicted to be in the top three economies for growth in 2002, with 56% of UK business executives predicting growth at home, compared to only 44% of those in Europe.
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Ivan Fowlie was previously head of business finance for Western and Central Europe