The European Investment Bank (EIB) is holding its 4th annual Forum in London on October 22-23. The Theme of the 1998 Forum will be `The European challenge: investing in jobs'.

The Forum is especially topical in light of recent crises in financial markets, which have reinforced the importance of EMU as a zone of stability for European businesses. This, combined with recent measures by the EIB, the European Union's financing institution, in support of economic growth and employment polices in Europe, in particular its Amsterdam Special Action Programme (ASAP) designed to step up lending for investment encouraging employment, will have an impact on the success of EMU and the modernisation and further integration of EU Member States.

The relationship between investment and employment in the European Union will be the key focus of the Forum, tackling issues such as the mobilisation of capital within EMU and the availability of risk capital for innovative business with the potential for growth and job creation.

The EIB Forum will be opened by Sir Brian Unwin, President of the EIB, and Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer and EIB Governor for the United Kingdom. The Forum will gather more than 350 participants including leading financial, political and business-decision makers and media representatives from across Europe at the Inter-Continental Hotel, Hyde Park.

Speakers at the Forum will include: Jacques Delors, Mario Monti, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Financial Services, Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of BMW, Salvador Garcia-Atance, Chairman of AB Asesores in Spain, Marc Viénot, Chairman of Paris Europlace (stock exchange), Olivier Lefebvre, Chairman of the Brussels Stock Exchange, and John Monks, General Secretary of the TUC.

Issues for discussion on Day 1 will include Unemployment: economic, social and political challenges, the strengthening of investment and other policy responses to underpin the creation of new businesses, and barriers impeding innovation and job creation. Day 2 will focus on trends within the financial markets and the impact of the Euro on industry and services, and development of the venture capital market in Europe.

The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending institution, finances capital investment furthering EU integration, in particular: regional development; trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy; industrial competitiveness and integration; SMEs; environmental protection; and energy security. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). Sir Brian Unwin is the first British President of the institution and assumed office in 1993. So far this year the EIB has already signed some ECU 18 billion in loans. In 1997, the EIB lent over ECU 26 billion and borrowed ECU 23 billion on capital markets.