Germany welcomes the revision of the European trade strategy. The most recent communication highlights the current opportunities and challenges in trade policy, including growth, employment, transparency, investment protection reform and sustainability. The objectives set out in the strategy – in particular the opening of markets and the implementation of a series of reliable global trade rules – must now be pursued in a coherent manner. Only in this way will German and European companies be able to improve their competitive advantage in expanding markets outside the EU. In 2014, the EU concluded a series of regional agreements with West, East and Southern Africa. In 2007, the EU concluded a Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Caribbean region, represented by the Cariforum (Acp Caribbean Forum). However, free trade does not mean that trade takes place without rules. On the contrary, it means that countries commit to certain rules in trade agreements, such as the principle of non-discrimination. They also often sign rules on public procurement, competition, trade-related investment and trade facilitation. Modern trade agreements also contain strong chapters on the sustainability of labour and environmental standards. Most trade agreements also have dispute resolution procedures.
Finally, and not least, countries can also reintroduce barriers to trade, for example when a product or service poses a danger to human, animal or plant health or poses a threat to national security. Whenever a country is particularly good at a field, its products and services generally seek their way to customers across national borders (and find them). This is the birth of a new export success. The Swiss export their watches all over the world; China stands out in e-commerce; and the United States is particularly good at trade in services. Everyone does what they do best. That is how world trade works; That`s how everyone benefits. A free trade agreement between the EU and India can help remove existing barriers and give new impetus to our bilateral cooperation. India`s population is the second largest in the world, making it a very important trading partner for German companies. However, the federal government and the European Commission insist that any agreement must be comprehensive and ambitious.
While negotiations for a free trade agreement began as early as 2007, sharp differences in the expectations of both sides have brought the talks to a standstill since 2012. In addition, the EU has a wide range of cooperation agreements and consultation mechanisms, including with many Asian countries, the United States, Canada and Latin America. The EU has also begun negotiations for bilateral free trade agreements with several countries in Asia and Latin America. The FREE Trade Agreement BETWEEN the EU and Japan came into force on 1 February 2019 and aims to strengthen economic and political ties between these two major trade areas and strengthen the EU`s role throughout the Asian region.