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Former Central European Free Trade Agreement countries’ agri-food trade specialisation

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  • Bojnec, Stefan
  • Ferto, Imre

Abstract

The paper evaluates agri-food trade competitiveness and specialisation patterns of the former Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA-7) countries compared with the European Union (EU-15) from 1995-2007. Agri-food trade specialisation stability and duration are investigated by main agri-food product groups according to the degree of product processing and dynamics in the demand growth exhibited by the EU-15 market. Except for Poland and Hungary, the former CEFTA-7 countries face a trade deficit in agri-food products with the EU-15 markets. The former CEFTA-7 agri-food exports to EU-15 markets are specialised towards higher-value, processed, consumer-ready food as a result of agri-food sector restructuring and integration to more competitive EU markets. The former CEFTA-7 agri-food export specialisation towards the EU-15 markets’ most demanded products is also revealed. The results confirm that EU integration increases size of trade, stability, and the duration of former CEFTA-7 agri-food trade products on EU-15 markets. Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit im Handel mit Agrar- und Ernährungsgütern sowie mit Spezialisierungsmustern der früher im Mitteleuropäischen Freihandelsabkommen (CEFTA-7) zusammengeschlossenen Länder im Vergleich zur Europäischen Union (EU-15) für den Zeitraum 1995-2007. Stabilität und Dauer von Handelsspezialisierungen werden anhand von Hauptproduktgruppen entsprechend dem Verarbeitungsgrad und der Dynamik des Nachfrageanstiegs auf dem EU-15-Markt unter-sucht. Mit Ausnahme von Polen und Ungarn sind die ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder mit einem Handelsdefizit an Agrarprodukten auf den EU-15-Märkten konfrontiert. Die Agrarexporte der ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder können als höherwertige, verarbeitete, verbrauchsfertige Nahrungsmittel bezeichnet werden. Dies ist sicherlich das Ergebnis der Umstrukturierung und Integration in die wettbewerbsfähigeren EU-Märkte. Außerdem wird aufgezeigt, welches die auf den EU-15-Märkten am meisten nachgefragten Produkte sind und wie sich die CEFTA-7-Länder auf diese Agrarexporte spezialisiert haben. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen, dass die EU-Integration den Handelsumfang und die Stabilität der Agrarprodukte der ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder auf den EU-15-Märkten erhöht.

Suggested Citation

  • Bojnec, Stefan & Ferto, Imre, 2009. "Former Central European Free Trade Agreement countries’ agri-food trade specialisation," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 58(8).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:134888
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/134888
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    References listed on IDEAS

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