Europe looks to trade to spur growth
(BRUSSELS) - Europe, the world's biggest tariff-free trading bloc, aims Friday to spur growth by revamping trade with the Americas and the Far East.
The European Union wants to rev up trans-Atlantic trade ahead of a G8 summit in Chicago in May, and foreign and trade ministers gathering in Brussels on Friday will seek to give trade a new turbo charge as a way out of recession.
"The process is being taken very seriously on both sides," said an EU official in charge of preparations.
Estimates by employers' federation Business Europe, to be presented to G8 business leaders at a shadow summit next week, say between 200,000 and 520,000 new jobs could be created in the EU, and 110,000 and 400,000 in the United States, if some trade barriers can be eliminated.
The employers reckon a cut of 10 percent of non-tariff barriers could boost growth by 24.4 billion euros ($31.6 billion) in the EU, and 8.2 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in the United States.
A raft of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are already in the works with more in the pipeline, though negotiations with the likes of India will invariably take years to implement.
The EU is close to signing final deals with Colombia and Peru, as well as with Singapore, and is inching towards opening FTA talks with Japan, the world's third-biggest national economy after the United States and China.
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