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European Commission Vice President for Industry and Entrepreneurship
Opening the “Global Business & Markets” event
Hannover Messe / Hannover
8 April 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to have the possibility to visit this fair and to open the “Global Business & Markets” platform. I consider that promoting the internationalisation of EU enterprises is paramount for the European economic recovery.
The exhibitors and participants in this platform aim at supporting business internationalisation. And we share the same view.
I am also happy to see that the forum covers all the main trading partners of the EU. These partners are the United States, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China. Other promising regions such as Latin America and Africa are not left aside either.
Allow me to give you few examples of the important work of the European Commission to improve the trading conditions with these partners and to promote the internationalisation of European companies and, in particular, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
With regard to the US, the Commission has asked Members States to give the green light to open negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States.
The EU and the US already share the strongest economic and trade relationship in the world. The opening of bilateral negotiations will represent a new and further opportunity to boost our economies. It will create growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
The choice of the transatlantic economic relationship as the main theme of this event is certainly not a coincidence. We indeed have high ambitions with our US partners. I am sure that Minister Counselor Tasharski will touch upon this in more detail in a moment. For now, it is probably sufficient to mention that a transatlantic free trade agreement is expected to bring down a number of trade barriers and, as a result, to increase EU GDP by more than half a point.
The European Union has also just launched the negotiations for a free trade agreement with Japan.
Apart from the trade negotiations, the European Commission cooperates with the governments of the main trading partners. The co-operations aim at reducing barriers to trade and investment. This helps European businesses gain better access to markets. This is done through the dialogues on regulatory policy as well as dialogues on specific categories of products, such as automotive safety and chemicals.
In order to complement and support these policies, I have been carrying out “Missions for Growth” over the last two years. I visited with a business delegation Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, the US, Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, Tunisia, Peru and Chile. I will continue this year with Russia, China, Vietnam and Myanmar. I am not only concentrating on the main partners. My missions also look at markets with economic potential and at those that have only recently become a potential destination for EU companies, as is the case of Myanmar.
These missions bring an important contribution to the EU industrial cooperation in general, and to SME internationalisation in particular. They directly help the SMEs to enter into contact with the authorities of the respective markets and with potential business partners.
During these missions we meet high-level authorities and sign political agreements. The agreements constitute the basis for enhanced cooperation in different areas such as industrial cooperation, SME policy, tourism, space cooperation and raw materials.
I would like to remind businesses: You can also address your questions to the business support initiatives which the EU finances. These are the European Enterprise Network, the EU SME Centre and the IPR helpdesk in China, the European Business and Technology Centre in India and others. Their role is to support you in doing business in the respective countries.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you fructuous business meetings.