Duncan Roberts: Elections in Luxembourg and the United States have dominated the news over the past six months. How do you think the results of those elections will affect business and the economy of both countries?
Paul Schonenberg: Neither election produced substantial change… which I assume means that the electorates in both countries are mostly satisfied with the status quo. As neither country will lurch to either the right or the left, the present policies will largely continue unchanged. From a business perspective, considering that businesses like moderation in politics, this will likely be considered a good outcome. The economic results for the US are very encouraging: the lowest rate of unemployment in many years with some salary growth for workers…. a really booming economy. We see an opportunity for the new Luxembourg government to be a bit more pro-business and believe this approach will enable us here in Luxembourg to further strengthen our economy to the benefit of both shareholders and employees.
DR: What was your personal highlight of the year?
PS: I started the year thinking I needed to lose 10 kilos… and I have succeeded! It was not easy or fun… but I am proud of myself for this accomplishment which I earned by being frequently a bit hungry, exercising and lifting weights more often…and significantly reducing my consumption of sugar.
DR: Did any cultural, social or business event in 2018 in Luxembourg stand out for you?
PS: I had the pleasure to host the 23rd annual Amcham Thanksgiving dinner. The Doubletree Hilton hosted 225 of our members and guests for a wonderfully prepared authentic Turkey dinner. Prime minister [Xavier] Bettel was our guest of honor and we welcomed him with a leadership and prosperity award. The Amcham team likewise surprised me by showing a video they had prepared to honor me for 20 years of service as the Amcham chairman. And then we had a great tombola drawing for 16 prizes followed by dancing until dawn. This was a wonderful night I will hold close to my heart and never forget.
DR: Where did you enjoy your best meal of 2018?
PS: The new Five Guys restaurant in the Gare district: double burger with bacon and grilled onions, grilled hot dog with bacon and crispy onions, small Cajun French fries with catsup and a Coke Zero… followed by a chocolate milkshake with Oreo cookies. This was a really great old-fashioned burger treat!
DR: What are you most looking forward to for Amcham in 2019?
PS: I think Amcham has proven its value and contribution as an English-speaking International business organisations dedicated to serving our members and the country. We do not care about the colour of your passport… we only care about our shared values and the quality of a person’s heart. For 2019, we hope to further grow our membership and bring our services to more companies and people.