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Technical barriers to trade for Hungarian exports to the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Kalman Dezseri

    (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Andrea Elteto

    (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Sandor Meisel

    (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Abstract

The EU was already Hungary’s most important trading partner by the end of the 1990s. Hungary managed a rapid increase in its exports to the EU, especially in the second half of the decade. This was accompanied by a considerable change in the product structure, with the share of high-technology products increasing strongly to a level high by international standards and a rapid fall in the share of low-tech, resource-intensive and unskilled labour intensive goods. Statistical calculations reveal that Hungary, uniquely among the CEE countries, shows clear specialization patterns or revealed comparative advantages in high-tech products on the EU market. These trends could not have occurred without rapid adaptation of technical standards and upgrading of product quality. The main finding of the survey conducted by the authors, therefore, is that TBTs (technical barriers to trade) with the EU were no longer significant for Hungarian firms by 2000. Seventy-three per cent of firms reported no difficulties in exporting to the EU. The expectations of companies were optimistic, with the majority forecasting a positive impact from technical harmonization and the elimination of borders. The sample was then divided into groups with defined characteristics. One was the sector affiliation of the firm. TBTs proved to be highest in the machinery and textile and clothing sectors. When ownership was examined, it was found that technical requirements presented fewer difficulties to FIEs, which had to invest less in redesigning their products than the domestic group. In several cases, FIEs belonged to large multinational networks, which facilitated their export activity. The third characteristic examined was the export- intensity of firms. Export-intensive firms in the sample were larger, had a higher average proportion of foreign ownership, and faced fewer difficulties in exporting than the non-export-intensive group. However, what difficulties they do face are mainly TBTs.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalman Dezseri & Andrea Elteto & Sandor Meisel, 2001. "Technical barriers to trade for Hungarian exports to the European Union," IWE Working Papers 116, Institute for World Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies- Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:iwe:workpr:116
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    File URL: http://www.vki.hu/workingpapers/wp-116.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. André Sapir, 2000. "Trade Regionalism in Europe: Towards an Integrated Approach," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 151-162, March.
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