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Evolution of EU and its Member States' Competitiveness in International Trade

  • Louise Curran
  • Soledad Zignago

After a long period of domination by the industrialised countries of the North, international trade is today driven by the dynamism of developing countries. This work seeks to analyse how the EU is performing in the light of this emerging competitive threat, by comparing the EU’s export performance on the world market with that of its key competitors between 1995 and 2004. The figures show that the EU has performed particularly well in the more upmarket, expensive and high tech levels of the market. Most notably, Europe is the market leader in up-market products, with almost 31% of the world market in 2004 (versus 20% of the market for all goods). In addition, there is evidence that the EU’s recent enlargement has helped it to maintain a strong performance, thanks to an increasing division of labour within the region. The new member states have become important suppliers of intermediate goods to key EU producers, and in particular German firms, thus becoming increasingly vital to EU competitiveness.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2009-11.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-11
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  1. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
  3. Cheptea, A. & Fontagné, L. & Zignago, S., 2012. "European Export Performance," Working papers 393, Banque de France.
  4. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
  5. Blalock, Garrick & Veloso, Francisco M., 2007. "Imports, Productivity Growth, and Supply Chain Learning," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1134-1151, July.
  6. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6m96c2r7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  7. Kristien Coucke & Leo Sleuwaegen, 2008. "Offshoring as a survival strategy: evidence from manufacturing firms in Belgium," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(8), pages 1261-1277, December.
  8. Lionel Fontagné & Michaël Freudenberg & Deniz Ünal, 1995. "Régionalisation et échanges de biens intermédiaires," Working Papers 1995-11, CEPII research center.
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