EVCA says PE can benefit the economy, employment and the environment

EVCA, Europe’s trade association, has embraced the increased emphasis on climate change at this year’s G8 summit, the annual meeting of the leaders of the most powerful world economies.

The industry body The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association has welcomed the G8 summit’s debate on the global economy, saying it wanted to help European entrepreneurship and job creation.

The EVCA secretary general Javier Echarri said: “We want to help take the goal of an explosion in European entrepreneurship and job-creation from grand ambition to prosperous reality.”

Echarri claimed this explosion would not only help the world economy but also the environment. He said: “€16 billion ($21 billion) worth of investment was made through venture capital, and private equity fundraising in clean technologies reached €1.5 billion in 2006.”

The G8 leaders have emphasised the environment at this summit. US President George Bush is backing a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. Bush promised G8 leaders: “(The United States would be) actively involved, if not taking the lead, in a post-Kyoto framework, post Kyoto agreement.”

Echarri yesterday wrote a letter to the UK newspaper Financial Times claiming private equity had been mischaracterized by the union leader John Monk who alleged the industry was “casino capitalism”.

The industry body head claims the potential for job-creation provided by buyouts is equal to the venture capital industry. He said: “This is not just in relation to creating employment but also by securing that investee companies are becoming more permanently competitive”.

The industry body stated that buyout firms and venture capital have created one million new European jobs over a five year period.