According to the second annual report about the implementation of trade agreements issued today, these agreements – covering nearly 70 markets all over the world – are proving effective in removing barriers to trade and promoting high standards of labour and environment protection. However, European exporters could make even more out of the opportunities offered by the agreements in place.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Over the years, the EU has invested greatly in developing the world’s largest network of trade agreements. The latest facts and figures show us that this approach is delivering. These agreements help to boost the European economy by making it easier to do business all over the world, while supporting jobs back home. Our growing list of strategic agreements opens doors and gives a competitive edge to European companies in key markets. It also helps advance the respect of human and labour rights, and environmental standards. We must continue to focus on follow-up work to make sure that the rules in place are followed, and that businesses can make the very most out of these deals.”
Today’s report covers developments in 2017 and shows that trade under existing EU trade agreements keeps growing. To give a few examples, exports to South Korea increased by over 12% last year, exports to Colombia by more than 10%, and EU exports to Canada rose by 7% in the nine months following the entry into force of the EU-Canada agreement. EU agri-food producers are among the main beneficiaries of scrapped customs duties, with strong export increases last year especially to Ecuador (+34%), Chile (+29%), Serbia (+23%), Turkey and Costa Rica (both +14%).