EC HOSTS MEETING TO LURE INVESTORS TO EAST EUROPE

EC HOSTS MEETING TO LURE INVESTORS TO EAST EUROPE

The European Commission will host a major Eastern European investment seminar for more than 300 top business executives from Europe, the United States and Japan.

The commission has joined forces with the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in a bid to spur private investment in Eastern and Central Europe.A two-day conference here April 9-10 will bring together businessmen

from the so-called Group of 24 industrialized nations providing aid to the fledgling market economies of Eastern Europe.

"This is primarily a conference for business," Frans Andriessen, EC commissioner for external relations, said in a statement. "This is a unique opportunity for businesses and government officials to exchange information and to ensure that practical investment considerations are communicated to responsible (East European) government officials," Mr. Andriessen added.

Four special workshops will examine key legal, financial, social and investment promotion issues in Eastern Europe.

While the EC has cut a number of ambitious trade deals with Eastern Europe - notably the so-called Europe agreements that will lead to free trade with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary - EC businessmen have been shy about investing in the new market economies.

"So far, actual investment flows to these countries have remained extremely low," the commission said.