With the increasing concern on the additional costs companies will face on accessing the UK market in the future this is now a good time to look at leveraging off current EU Trade Agreements. The EU is extremely active in negotiating trade agreements and there are significant opportunities for companies looking to diversify their markets outside of the UK and Continental Europe.
It is also worth remembering that once the UK leaves the EU they will have to negotiate independent trade agreements outside these EU agreements.
In our first newsletter we outlined the benefits of Canada as an opening market for Irish Companies with the new CETA agreement. Over the last month there has, in addition, been an extremely strong focus on this market with visits by An Taoiseach and the EU Commission for Agriculture, Phil Hogan. For the Irish Food and Drink Industry the Canadian FTA is of particular benefit as it opens up the Canadian Market to exporters of cheese, wine and spirits, fruit and vegetables, and processed food products, which is not typical of Trade Agreements. In fact Commissioner Hogan recently tweeted that “once CETA” is fully in place, Europe will be able to export nearly 92% of its agricultural and food products to Canada duty-free”
However along with the Canadian Agreement there are many other agreements as can be seen by the EU infogram below.
Exporters looking to develop new markets could therefore look at countries such as
- Egypt – Association Agreement, 1 June 2004
- Israel – Association Agreement, 1 June 2000
- Mexico – Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation
- South Korea – Free Trade Agreement, signed on 6 October 2010, entered into force on 13 December 2015
- Ukraine – Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, 1 January 2016 / Association Agreement, 29 May 2014
To name but a few.
In our next newsletter we will expand on how to qualify, under rules or origin, to take advantage of these Trade Agreements. We will also update on ongoing trade and market access discussions taking place with countries such as Japan, Indonesia and China.
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