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|Euroland - An Empire is Born|
The Euro goes live!
With the introduction of the Euro at Midnight tonight a new world player will be born. If this impresses you "300 million people, 12 countries, one currency" then get a hold of this:
|40 countries - one in five in the world - will from this week either have the euro as the official currency or have their own currency locked to its value...The empire of the euro - which even at its start has slightly more people using it as their official currency than use the US dollar - is set to grow rapidly |
Opportunities like this do not come along everyday, for the independent European webmaster/ecom retailer the next few years could set the foundations for international success. Whilst the 800lb Gorillas stand startled like rabbits caught in headlights, the small/micro web operators could leverage a huge early advantage in this new market place.
Problems still exist in servicing this market, shipping being one of them, but it is not to be ignored. If you have a "to do list" then add these items; Contact your local chamber of commerce/Govt department get as much information as you can, ask your current shipping company if they ship "Euro Wide", contact your credit card service provider, make sure you have the font, become very good friends with the European members of WebmasterWorld :) and most of all don't delay!
That has always been our problem, shipping from the UK to the mainland is still very expensive for our products.
We are seriously suffering from the decline of the US$ in relation to the Euro. Many of our contracts are local, and we have to pay in Euro. Our contracts, where we deliver, are written for US dollar. So we get wacked both ways, I have to pay a premium for service, and get paid a discount for service.
I can't wait until the day Denmark adopts the EURO. As I see it it's all good in the long term.
In the short term it's only natural that companies exlpoit the confusion about the new currency and round up prices. However, competition lead to lower prices again.
Just like the Swedish currency the Danish currency is fluctuating against all other currencies. However, fluctuations are restricted by guidelines from the European Central Bank. So in reality the Danish and Swedish currencies are so close to the Euro that we might as well call them EURO.
Even though the Euro isn't as strong as the ECB originally planned and hoped for it is still one of the strongest currencies in the world. US$ used to be the strongest currency in the world but I'm not so sure now. The world economy has been divided into US, Asian and the European Economy and I believe that this is patly bacause of the EURO. The US$ simply isn't strong engough to control the world anymore.
While the US economy is still under a lot of preasure Europe is starting to gear up.
The Euro is still young and it's probably to early to tell the effects on internet commerce.
|However, fluctuations are restricted by guidelines from the European Central Bank. So in reality the Danish and Swedish currencies are so close to the euro that we might as well call them euro. |
I have no idea how this is handled in Denmark, but Sweden has not joined the ERM mechanism and the Bank of Sweden has an anti-inflation goal only, paying no attention whatsoever to exchange rates. Today's rate is SEK 9.22 to 1.00 Euro. All economists seem to agree that the exhange rate will be around 8.60 to 1.00 on the day Sweden goes Euro. That's a long way to go, but right now the currency is gyrating wildly causing all kinds of problems for us and other exporters.
|lets leave the politics for another time-place and focus on the net aspects of doing business |
How? The Euro like the European Union itself is political project in its entirety and very controversial too, not just in countries outside the Euro-area, but inside as well. It is not a matter of practicality, like the US dollar. The ultimate goal of these projects is to make another war between European nations impossible, by tying their economies so closely to each other, that no war can be financed.
The likelyhood (or lack of likelyhood) that countries like the UK, Sweden and Denmark join the Euro, is of the utmost importance to a discussion about the Euro and net business and can be evaluated only in political terms.
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