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European Commission Spotlights Luxury

Sector seen as “strategic” for growth and employment on the continent.

LONDON — The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union responsible for proposing legislation and for the day-to-day running of the EU, has turned its spotlight on the luxury industry.

 

In a paper issued this week, the commission identified the industry as a “strategic sector” for European growth and employment, and included luxury in its new political action plan, “Cultural and Creative Sectors for creative growth in the E.U.”

 

In the plan, the commission lays out long- and short-term strategies for supporting skill development; improving access to finance; promoting new business models; encouraging cooperation with other sectors and policies; and expanding international reach in the cultural and creative sectors.

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The commission singled out LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as an example of the luxury sector’s potential.

 

“LVMH is a good example of what creative passion can achieve for international reach, sustainable investment, and transmission of know-how,” the Commissioner for Education and Culture, Androulla Vassiliou, said in a statement.

 

In a separate statement on Wednesday, LVMH said it hoped the commission’s strategy “will be the first step towards shaping the right policy environment for companies that create jobs and growth in Europe.

 

“Such an integrated political approach would allow [the luxury industry] to fully develop its potential for employment through, for example, vocational training for luxury métiers.”

 

According to a study by Frontier Economics published in June, the European luxury industry accounts for three percent of Europe’s GDP, and currently employs one million people. That jobs figure is set to rise to two million by 2020.