New EU trade and investment strategy - an ambitious vision
The new trade and investment strategy of the EU published today by the European Commission is a positive step to ensure Europe remains at the centre stage of world trade and investment.
The emphasis on global value chains, services, digital economy and mobility reflects the recent changes in the patterns of trade and investment and is essential to ensure a more effective trade policy.
For BUSINESSEUROPE trade and investment liberalisation is a key competitiveness driver. Therefore businesses and particularly small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) need to be at the forefront of an efficient and ambitious trade policy.
Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE stated: "We need to ensure that more European companies take advantage of business opportunities in third markets. The inclusion of an SME-specific chapter in all our free-trade agreements is an important step towards internationalisation and increased participation of SMEs in world trade. We also welcome the recognition of SME specific needs and the effort to accommodate them in different areas in our trade agenda."
With the recent conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement it is an absolute necessity to maintain an ambitious and comprehensive trade negotiating agenda at all levels, covering both developed and developing countries. Concluding forward-looking agreements with key trading partners such as the USA and Japan remains a top priority. However the role of the WTO as the supreme guardian of trade rules is essential.
In this context Markus J. Beyrer said: “We welcome the new approach of the European Commission to reinvigorate the multilateral discussions. It is high time that we arrive to practical solutions regarding the Doha Round and open the door to addressing new trade and investment issues within the WTO”.
The principle of sustainability is framing the new EU trade and investment strategy and its relation with other EU policies covering a wide range of areas including human rights, environment and labour standards, anti-corruption or good governance practices.
On this issue Markus J. Beyrer stated: “We acknowledge the need to make trade policy more inclusive and better coordinated with other EU policies. Nevertheless, we should not lose sight of the fact that trade and investment are primarily driven by economic objectives. “
BUSINESSEUROPE will continue to engage actively in the public discussions ensuring that the new trade and investment strategy effectively improves market access for our companies around the globe and helps to create more investment and better jobs in Europe.