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Structural Changes and Global Trends in European Union Trade


  • Ishak Mesic

    () (University of Zenica - Faculty of Economics, Bosnia and Herzegovina)


The article aims at researching and presenting structural changes and global trends in distributive trade of European Union, resulted from liberalization of economic activities within the EU. During the last decades, EU trade went through deep transformation and structural changes. Traditional distributive trade has been replaced by organized and concentrated distribution. Even though, there are many developing trends which unify the EU trade, still there are some differences specific for particular countries. Level of development, structure of trade network, as well as structure of retail forms, differ from one country to another. Developing patterns of retail forms differ from one country to another. For instance, hypermarkets have reached mature stage in France, Germany and Belgium, just have started developing in Italy and are in developing stage in Spain. “Hard” discount shops are already one mature concept in Germany and Netherlands, while in France, they have just started developing. Regardless of differences between particular national and regional markets within EU, almost all countries participate in increased trend of internationalization, concentration and dislocation of traditional retail towards modern sale forms, which have more subsidiaries. However, degree of concentration in some countries is still quite different. While just a few companies control the markets in Scandinavia, France, Great Britain and Germany; in Italy there is not a company with similar comparable size or market strength. Trend of business globalization have emphasized the area of international retail as an important topic. With process of retail internationalization – retail has turned into a global industry quite fast.

Suggested Citation

  • Ishak Mesic, 2009. "Structural Changes and Global Trends in European Union Trade," Interdisciplinary Management Research, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics, Croatia, vol. 5, pages 25-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:osi:journl:v:5:y:2009:p:25-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. "Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
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    More about this item


    trade; retail; globalization; internationalization; concentration;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy


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