*EC’s Signe Ratso believes TTIP will help Romanian agricultural products and IT services exporters
The expansion of commercial exchanges between the European Union and the US could bring benefits to Romania mostly to the agriculture and services sectors, believes Director in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade Signe Ratso (photo).
He maintains that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will help Romanian exporters of agricultural products because “the agricultural rates will be removed and a full liberalization will be made in respect to several tariffs which are of great interest in exports for Romania – for wine, cheese, nuts, plum brandy, processed foods, etc.”
“Agriculture is a very important export sector for Romania, which is not fully capitalised on. (…) We don’t wish to draw up new strategies, but we want to ensure the observance of conformity, and Romania has benefited from such a commitment from the US. There still aren’t any wide commercial exchanges in agriculture between Romania and the US, although the past years’ results seem promising. The expansion of the commercial exchanges would be in the area of this Agreement and we know it will be a beneficial thing for Romania – it would benefit from wider exports, beyond meat – fruit, vegetables, etc,” Signe Ratso said in the Senate on Thursday during the debate “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – an European Approach,” organised by the Committee on European Affairs.
The European Commission representative added that the services area is one which “could make the most of the transatlantic exchanges.”
“Romania is among the top five countries, alongside the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands, for instance, which export such services to the US. The main services exported to the US are IT and business services, and we know the software exports are a successful story – they represent 40 percent of the total services exported to the US. In the IT area, Romania has a far better performance than in all the other areas together. In respect to the SMEs, we can say that 60 percent of Romanian exporters to the US are SMEs,” Signe Ratso explained.
The Senate’s Committee on European Affairs and the Economy, Trade and Relations with the Business Environment Ministry organised in Parliament on Thursday the debate “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – an European Approach.”
MAE’s Neculaescu: TTIP has undoubtable strategic valences
Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Dan Neculaescu says that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), meant to be “an ambitious and mutually advantageous agreement,” has undoubtable strategic valences, with a potential to deepen the dynamic of the transatlantic relation and of increasing the confidence level between the US and the EU.
“TTIP is meant to be a comprehensive ambitious and mutually advantageous agreement and this must be our goal. (…) This partnership has the potential of becoming an essential vehicle for promoting investments, new job creation and economic growth and can represent the key for maintaining the competitiveness of the two economies in an increasingly globalized world. TTIP is much more than a trade agreement in our vision, it also has undoubtable strategic valences, it has the potential to deepen the dynamic of the transatlantic relation and increase the confidence level between the US and the EU. Its conclusion would have positive effects including in the area of engaging third countries in managing regional and global problems by providing a model and some advanced standards in the construction of such agreements,” Neculaescu said on Thursday during the debate “TTIP – an European approach,” organised by the Senate’s Committee on European Affairs and the Economy Ministry.
He underscored that the TTIP advantages for Romania particularly reside in the growth potential for Romanian exports to the US and at the same time in the increase in US investments in Romania.
“Concluding the TTIP could contribute to the consolidation of the EU role as credible, responsible and competitive global player. We believe that it is important to continue the talks on a a technical level. It isn’t an easy process, but we are positive that a deep, balanced and mutually advantageous agreement can be reached, with the observance of all standards for both sides,” Neculaescu added.
Economics official Vasiliu: TTIP will provide new opportunities to Romania’s private sector
State Secretary with Romania’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Relations with the Business Environment Vlad Vasiliu says the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), under negotiations since 2013, will provide new opportunities to Romania’s private sector.
“Economically speaking, this free trade agreement opens up new avenues for the Romanian private sector. (…) Such an agreement for Romania’s SMEs means also dangers, but you cannot develop unless you keep up with the latest global developments. New avenues open up that the business milieu has to identify, and they have to live up to such challenges,” Vasiliu told a debate on Thursday on a European approach of TTIP organised by the Romanian Senate’s Committee on European Affairs and the Commerce Ministry.
He pointed out that besides economic relations, TTIP provides approaches of other fields as well – access to the market for agricultural products, access to public procurement, litigation settlement and investment protection.
“As far as the Government is concerned, we believe TTIP is a free trade agreement with a special geostrategic impact. It brings the main world trade players at a table to discuss actual ways for economic and trade relationships among them to significantly develop and boost. Yet, besides the impressive volume of trade or investment conducted by EU member states in the US and vice versa, this agreement proposes an ambitious approach at various levels, such as access to the market for agricultural products, access to public procurement, litigation settlement and investment protection,” said Vasiliu.
He added that the ongoing negotiations are not easy, which makes them hard to conclude.
“This is an ambitious project both parties want to conclude and that will redefine new world standards and this is why the negotiations over it are not easy at all. (…) We are aware the negotiations will not conclude very soon. Both the European Commission and the member states have to follow a consistent and unitary line and try in their talks with the US to get a transatlantic agreement that meets the wishes and expectations of all parties,” said Vasiliu.
Dean Thompson: US plans to accomplish free trade agreement with the EU
The US seeks an even deeper economic relationship with the European Union and has the ambition to accomplish the EU – US free trade agreement, US Deputy Chief of Mission Dean Thompson told a dedicated debate on Thursday.
The US seeks an even more profound economic relationship with the EU and for us to establish a commercial cooperation model. (…) The US welcomes the fact that the majority of the ministers who attended the informal meeting in Bratislava expressed their support for such negotiations. The US remains fully engaged in negotiations and wants to take this progress further. (…) The US has this ambition to accomplish this agreement. Despite anxieties and questions about what will be next, it is important that we stay the course we have started on and that we do everything we can until the end of the year, because we want to set some standards, a pace as a model for the administration that follows, and for many countries of the world, Thompson on Thursday told the debate “Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a European Approach,” organized by the Senate’s European Affairs Committee.
According to Thompson, both Americans and Europeans consider that investments and an open market will create prosperity, but it is important that the EU and US establish the rules for international trade, impose environmental requirements, safe food safety standards, standards for consumers, but also encourage innovation.
In a well-built market, transparency and openness provide the foundation for economic development. These values and beliefs have served us, and the EU and the US represent the world’s largest economies and our citizens enjoy an advanced standard of living. This partnership gives us the opportunity to globally promote the values that we share. The world is changing rapidly, new markets appear, new powers that also seek a high standard of living and level of prosperity as we have enjoyed in the past 50 years, and we understand and encourage such a desire. (…) Unfortunately trade exchanges currently encounter a lot of barriers (…) that hinder particularly the activity of SMEs and don’t let the customers enjoy all the benefits, he added.
In her turn, chairperson of the Senate European Affairs Committee Anca Boagiu pointed out that Romania maintains its approach of the EU-US free trade agreement.
“We too maintain our course as far as this agreement is concerned. Perhaps, as a national applicable criticism we should accept, we are not determined enough when it comes to requesting what is due to us, as the seventh largest state of the EU, but this is not the fault of the other states, but ours, because we don’t know how to promote our interests strongly enough. There are smaller, more powerful countries that have much higher ambitions than ours,” Boagiu said.