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Bilateral relations

Besides the multilateral trade agenda, another important aspect of EU’s trade policy are relations with third partners all over the world. The EU is the largest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and the biggest export market for around 80 countries. In addition, together the EU member states account for 16% of world imports and exports and are the number one source and destination of foreign direct investment. It is therefore important for BusinessEurope to promote an ambitious EU bilateral trade agenda that ensures access to third markets and a level playing field for European companies when they compete at global level.

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BusinessEurope is cooperating with business associations globally and covers the developments in EU’s trade relations particularly with the following regions and countries: Africa and the Caribbean, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Brazil and Latin America, Canada, China, Eastern Partnership countries, India, Japan, South Korea, Mediterranean countries and the Middle East, Russia, the United States.


Position papers Date
Global Gateway initiative - BusinessEurope's suggestions and way forward 22/05/2024
Renewal of the EU Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) to support Ukraine - a BusinessEurope statement 20/03/2024
EU and UK Domestic Advisory Groups to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement - Joint statement 03/10/2022
Joint statement on EU trade agreements 07/03/2022
BusinessEurope recommendations for the EU Global Gateway initiative 30/11/2021
Recommendations on the implementation of EU free-trade agreements 12/10/2020
What trade can do for climate - a BusinessEurope position paper 22/06/2020
The future EU-UK relations - a BusinessEurope position paper 06/02/2020
State of intellectual property in third countries - BusinessEurope reply to the European Commission public consultation 28/05/2019
Joint statement - Business calls for speedy ratification of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement 26/09/2018
Trade and sustainable development chapters in EU free-trade agreements 07/11/2017
Press releases Date
BusinessEurope reacts to European Parliament Plenary vote on EU-New Zealand FTA 22/11/2023
Agreement between the EU and the UK on the post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland: Deal helps to prepare the ground for closer EU-UK cooperation 28/02/2023
EU-New Zealand agreement: welcome restart of an ambitious bilateral trade agenda 30/06/2022
EU-UK: European Parliament ratification ends uncertainty for business 28/04/2021
EU-UK: a deal is most welcome 24/12/2020
EU-UK negotiations: a deal is needed now 27/11/2020
EU-UK: This is not the time to walk out, negotiations must continue 17/10/2020
EU trade agreements are key for jobs and economic recovery 12/10/2020
EU-UK: time is running out, a deal is needed urgently 28/09/2020
What trade can do for climate: More than carbon border adjustments 23/06/2020
Comprehensive and ambitious EU-UK agreement must be reached in time 14/06/2020
European business sets priorities for the future EU-UK relationship 06/02/2020
Brexit – now we must focus on the future 31/01/2020
Brexit - no deal means disaster, must be definitely ruled out 16/09/2019
Brexit: no-deal unacceptable for business 09/04/2019
BusinessEurope statement on Brexit ahead of the European Council meeting on 21-22 March 2019 20/03/2019
No-deal must be off the table now 13/03/2019
EU and UK business: No deal Brexit is a no-win outcome that must be avoided 11/03/2019
A solution must urgently be found to avoid no-deal Brexit 16/01/2019
European business alarmed by recent developments on Brexit 12/12/2018
Statement of BusinessEurope's Council of Presidents on Brexit 23/11/2018
BusinessEurope welcomes positive step towards orderly Brexit 15/11/2018
Union and business leaders issue joint appeal for urgent progress in Brexit negotiations 27/06/2018
Brexit: EU and UK must deliver good customs solutions 13/06/2018
Brexit: agreement on transition is positive for business 23/03/2018
Business welcomes European Council decision on Brexit – companies need certainty 15/12/2017
Brexit negotiations progress is a positive sign 08/12/2017
Cliff-edge Brexit – BusinessEurope publishes company examples 07/12/2017
Brexit – business is concerned about the slow pace in negotiations 15/09/2017
Sailing the wind of economic improvements to further strengthen Europe 13/09/2017
Brexit - business needs an orderly transition 06/07/2017
Disorderly Brexit cannot be an option 16/06/2017
Public letters Date
Seizing opportunities - Time to seal an ambitious EU-Australia FTA - Joint statement by EABC and BusinessEurope 09/10/2023
Make 2023 the year of new trade agreements to strengthen competitiveness in crises - Letter to Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel 11/01/2023
EU-Switzerland relations - Joint letter to the European Commission and the Swiss government 15/06/2022
The importance of bilateral trade negotiations - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Valdis Dombrovskis 07/02/2022
Implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and EU-UK relations - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer 04/01/2022
EU connectivity strategy - Letter from Pierre Gattaz and Markus J. Beyrer to Ursula von der Leyen 03/09/2021
EU-UK relationship - Contingency - Letters from BusinessEurope 09/12/2020
Trade policy review - BusinessEurope contribution to the public consultation 13/11/2020
Cross-border data flows - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to EU Commissioner Phil Hogan 27/04/2020
No Deal Brexit is a recipe for disaster and must be avoided - Message to the European Council meeting on 17-18 October 2019 15/10/2019
Brexit - Shortcomings in EU contingency measures - Letter from BusinessEurope to Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland 08/10/2019
Shortcomings in EU contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit - Letter from Luisa Santos to the European Commission Secretariat General 21/03/2019
Horizontal provisions for cross-border data flows and personal data protection in EU trade and investment agreements - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Ekaterina Zaharieva 08/03/2018
Cross-border data flows and inclusion of specific provisions in free-trade agreements negotiated by the EU - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Frans Timmermans 30/10/2017
Provisions on cross-border data flows to be included in future trade agreements - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta 17/03/2017
Reports and studies Date
Main problems regarding EU-UK trade and investment since the end of the transition period - a BusinessEurope survey 31/03/2021
A trade strategy fit for the 21st century 29/04/2019
Brexit: the customs implications and solutions 12/06/2018
Consequences of a cliff-edge Brexit 07/12/2017
Facts and figures Date
EU-China trade - Facts and figures 17/07/2018
Last updated: 13 October 2020