Press Advisories

3. 2. 2009 14:57

The EU must remain committed to further liberalization of international trade

Participants of the Conference on Trade Liberalisation in Prague have discussed a number of issues facing the world economy in general and, in particular, the role of Europe in the global economy. In the context of an economic downturn and growing threats of protectionism, participants of the Conference on Trade Liberalisation in Prague have discussed a number of issues facing the world economy in general and, in particular, the role of Europe in the global economy. „It is important to resist calls for greater protection of national economies and raising new trade barriers amidst the worst economic downturn in decades,“ Martin Tlapa, Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, stated at the conference. „In an era of an interconnected global economy, it is important to ensure that markets remain open. Openness leads to higher productivity. And removing existing trade barriers strengthens competitiveness, stimulates innovation and encourages economic growth,“ Deputy Minister Martin Tlapa added. Deputy Minister Martin Tlapa emphasised that the best way to resist protectionism lies in further strengthening the multilateral system of international trade and advancing its greater liberalisation. As the current crisis is expected to have an extremely negative impact on developing countries, it is essential to conclude the Doha Round in the near future; it is the best means to safeguard their economic development and trade. Participants of the conference have agreed that in order to maintain its position in international trade, the EU needs transparent and predictable trade policy. To mitigate the impact of the global downturn and to facilitate economic recovery, the EU needs to enhance its competitiveness on the global stage. Given a level playing field, EU companies and workers are capable of competing in the global economy. Therefore, the EU must remain committed to further liberalization of international trade on both the multilateral and bilateral level. The priority of the EU on the global stage must be the implementation of the “Global Europe” strategy, which includes an effort to conclude an ambitious agreement in the Doha Round, the rapid conclusion of bilateral negotiations with important trading partners, such as Korea, and tackling non-tariff regulatory barriers. Contact Tomáš Bartovský Spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Tel.: +420 224 853 311 GSM: +420 602 508 328 E-mail: bartovsky@mpo.cz

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