Feb 18 Diageo Plc, the world's biggest
spirits company has warned against Britain leaving the European
Union, crediting the bloc's global trade deals for the company's
whisky exports success, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and
Guinness beer has the biggest production center in the UK, which
generates about 3.9 billion pounds of Scotch whisky exports.
In an interview with the FT, Diageo Chief Executive Ivan
Menezes said it would be difficult to sell British-made brands
across the world without the advantages of the EU's 31
international trade agreements, recently concluded with
countries such as Colombia and South Korea. (link.reuters.com/kac96v)
"The major benefit for Diageo, for our industry, is in
global trade and in having the EU as a significant bloc
promoting global trade," Menezes told the FT.
He told the FT that he was keen for the bloc to conclude
deals with the Asean group of southeast Asian nations and the
Mercosur bloc in Latin America.
Diageo needed the "efficiency" of the European single market
to ensure that its EU business did not have to grapple with
different labelling rules or intellectual property rights across
countries, Menezes told the newspaper.
He expected Diageo to remain in the country while it had the
"right environment to compete globally."
He declined to tell the FT whether Diageo would stay in
London if the British voted to leave.
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore. Editing by Andre