In the European Union 31 million jobs – over 14% of total employment – depend on exports to third countries and each additional €1bn of exports supports 14,000 additional jobs across the EU. The importance of trade agreements in supporting and strengthening the economic performance of the EU was highlighted in a report by the European Commission that served as the basis of Member States' discussions at the Informal Meeting of Trade Ministers in Riga this week.
The Annual Report on the implementation of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), presented today, provides further evidence on the contribution of trade to the economy. EU exports of goods to Korea increased by 35% since 2011, during the first three years of the agreement, the report shows. Exports of fully liberalised goods – such as machinery, electrical appliances, clothing, and most chemicals –have increased by 46% overall, and exports for partially liberalised goods by 37%, making a total of €4.7bn additional exports from the EU each year. EU exports have increased in all sectors – in particular cars, where they have nearly doubled (up by 90%) as well as in transport equipment (up by 56%). (RAPID, IP/15/4695, 26.3.2015)