27 Feb 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 27 FEBRUARYBrussels Daily
How competitive is your region? Commission publishes the 2016 Regional Competitiveness Index
Today the Commission has published the third edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index for 263 EU regions, a study that provides useful insights for regions to boost their economic performance.
Regional competitiveness is the ability of a region to offer an attractive and sustainable environment for firms and residents to live and work.
The novelty of the 2016 edition is the interactive web tool, which allows for a more detailed analysis and comparison of each region, either with its peers in terms of GDP per capita or with all EU regions. Users may now see more easily how their region scores in terms of innovation, governance, transport, digital infrastructure, health or human capital. The tool is also designed to help regions identify their strengths, their weaknesses and investment priorities when shaping their development strategies. More information here
Trade agreements boost the EU agri-food sector
Commissioner Hogan presented today in a press conference a new study demonstrating the positive effects of three trade agreements in place – Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland – on the agriculture sector. As Commissioner Hogan said: “These three agreements alone have increased EU agri-food exports by more than €1 billion and have raised value-added in the agri-food sector by €600 million. Just as importantly, this increase in exports has supported thousands of jobs in total across the EU, most of which in the agri-food sector, including in primary agriculture. These figures are clear evidence that ambitious and balanced trade deals work for European food and farming.” Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström also commented the recent findings: “Trade deals, done right, are a force for good for our farmers and food producers. This study also gives important input on how we can continue to cut unnecessary red tape and get rid of barriers in our trade negotiations going forward.” The study underlines the importance of closely following the trade negotiations of the EU’s main competitors to make sure that the EU does not fall behind in access conditions to important markets for agri-food products. The study also emphasises the importance of EU promotion and information campaigns in helping EU exporters access new markets and grow their businesses in existing markets. The EU remains the first exporter worldwide of agri-food products and the latest figures have shown that a surplus of €18.8 billion the agri-food sector contributes almost half of the overall surplus of the European Union in merchandise trade, which stood at €39.3 billion in 2016. A press release is online in all languages. A memo on the study is also available here. The full study can be read here.
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