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Pirelli CEO: Europe must change austerity policies

updated 12:47 PM EDT, Thu April 4, 2013
  • Pirelli employs 34,000 people worldwide and is expanding in emerging markets
  • Pirelli started life as a family-run business and flourished into the world's fifth-largest tyre maker
  • The company is based in the northern Italian city of Milan and invests heavily in R&D

(CNN) -- European policy must change to attract business investment, says the boss of tyre manufacturing giant Pirelli.

Marco Tronechetti Provera, chief executive officer of the Milan-based company, said Europe, three years into financial crisis, is regarded as a "burden." Businesses need more visibility around the future if the policymakers want to restart economic growth, he added. "European policy has to be changed,. All people around Europe are asking for this," he said.

Read more: European leaders frosty on eurozone future

Pirelli, founded in 1872, employs 34,000 people worldwide and Provera told CNN the company is looking to emerging markets to expand its business.

He said: "In the last few years we entered China, we entered Russia, we entered Mexico, we strengthened our position in Latin America. We are the largest player in the Middle East."

Read more: Finnish PM: Eurozone nations must follow the rules

Provera said Pirelli, which started life as a family-run business and flourished into the world's fifth-largest tyre maker, is typical of Italian entrepreneurship.

"I think that in our country, we have an attitude towards entrepreneurship that is really one of the best assets for the country," Provera said. "That is passion. Something that involves people and their families."

Read more: Oknoplast sees Europe' s window of opportunity

Pirelli focuses heavily on research and development, investing around 3% of revenues each year into the area. This is one of the highest levels of research investment in the tyre industry, according to the company.

Pirelli noted technology was also central to the company's plans for growth. "More technology is what we want," he told CNN. The company wants to "win our battle" with advances in this area, he added.

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