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Free Trade with Asia will boost jobs creation in the EU

More than 36 million jobs in Europe depend either directly or indirectly on ability to trade with the rest of the world. Free trade has a big impact on the economical development in the EU – concluded panelists at the conference “Barriers to free trade between EU and Asia” organized by the Globalization Institute in the EU Parliament. 

Globalization Institute, Polish free market think-tank organized a debate on EU’s trade policies regarding Asian countries. MEPs and experts with Signe Ratso, Director of Trade Strategy and Analysis in the European Commission, discussed different aspects of the EU’s Free Trade Agreements. 

Signe Ratso reminded that trade is a key part of the EU growth strategy as it continues to be the largest trading block in the world. Ms. Ratso stated that more than 36 million jobs in Europe depend either directly or indirectly on ability to trade with the rest of the world.

EU holds 23 different negotiations in a various parts of the world. The first completed Free Trade Agreement in Asia was  EU-South Korea from July 2011. Most of the trade with Korea is already duty free. Ms. Ratso stressed that EU exporters will not have to pay 1.6 billion euros  in duties. “Successful experience with the Korean agreement proves that the trade liberalization is the best path for both parties to boost economic growth.” – underlined Jacek Spendel from the Globalization Institute. 

The estimates show that by the year 2015 about 90% of the world's growth will be generated outside Europe.  One third of that share represents Chinese market only. If the EU companies want to expand they need to focus on the emerging markets. Polish MEP Paweł Zalewski (EPP Group) pointed out that free trade is the necessary tool to achieve goals such as peace and economic prosperity. “However, there is in fact no one common EU policy regarding commerce. Every member state has its own priorities that set their approach. The case of German luxury cars is completely different than the one of compact models produced in Poland or Spain.” – noticed Mr. Zalewski. 

British MEP Syed Kamall (ECR Group) pointed out that nowadays the trade restrictions of Western countries against the developing world resemble the old imperialist approach. In his view the only way to stimulate economic development in this part of the world is to eliminate barriers to trade and create open, competitive markets.   

Although the speakers came from various backgrounds, all of them shared a view that intensified international trade is a crucial issue for the European Union’s future. Globalization Institute believes that the conference could be regarded as a small but significant step towards increase of the awareness about the importance of freedom to trade.  

For more information please ask:

Jacek Spendel
Globalization Institute
tel. +48 509 615 488