The European Union (EU) has been engaged in numerous free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries around the world, and it recently released a report on the implementation of these agreements. The report, which covers the period from 2018 to 2019, provides an overview of the progress made in implementing the EU`s FTAs and highlights key achievements and challenges.
The EU`s FTAs are aimed at promoting trade between the EU and its partner countries by removing barriers to trade and investment. The agreements cover a wide range of issues, including tariff reductions, regulatory cooperation, intellectual property protection, and environmental and labor standards.
According to the report, the EU`s FTAs have been successful in increasing trade flows with partner countries. In 2019, EU exports to FTA partners increased by 5.6%, while imports from FTA partners increased by 7.2%. The report also notes that the implementation of FTAs has led to the creation of new business opportunities for EU companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
However, the report also highlights some challenges in implementing the FTAs. One of the main challenges is ensuring that partner countries comply with the agreed-upon standards and regulations. The report notes that the EU has taken steps to address non-compliance issues, including engaging in dialogue with partner countries and using trade remedies when necessary.
Another challenge highlighted in the report is the lack of awareness and knowledge among businesses, especially SMEs, about the opportunities and benefits of the FTAs. To address this issue, the EU has launched a number of initiatives, such as the Access2Markets online portal, which provides businesses with information on how to take advantage of the FTAs.
Overall, the EU`s report on the implementation of its FTAs shows that these agreements have been successful in promoting trade and creating new business opportunities. While there are still some challenges to be addressed, the EU is committed to ensuring that its FTAs continue to benefit both EU businesses and partner countries.