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Agricultural Trade In The Mediterranean Area: Actual Framework And Mid-Term Prospects

Listed author(s):
  • Roberta Sisto


  • Emilio De Meo
  • Gianluca Nardone

The Barcelona Declaration's objective of establishing a free trade area in the Mediterranean region by the year 2010 is felt as a menace by the Southern European with respect to the feasible openings to increasing imports' flows from non E.U. Mediterranean countries (MEDs). To see how much are these fears reasonable, we try to analyse agro-food trade flows between the E.U. and the MEDs and to make some mid-term conjectures on their evolution with a special focus on Mediterranean productions. In particular, we argue that European farmers are likely to face a scenario characterised by the lowering of the trade barriers and the change of the nature of the comparative advantage in agriculture. In such a perspective, it is likely that a greater amount of MEDs "sensitive products" could be profitably exported into the E.U. markets with negative consequences on European producers. On the other side, these effects could be partly compensated by the growing demand for quality that comes up from the rapid changes in consumers' preference and retail's structure: in the new market scenarios in developed countries, the limited quality of the productions imported from MEDs can be interpreted as an element that impedes the access to European markets. These considerations should lead European producers to consider the liberalization process as an opportunity to costantly increase the productivity and to improve the quality of their productions.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia in its series Quaderni DSEMS with number rs_trd_2004.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
Publication status: Published in Medit 2/2004
Handle: RePEc:ufg:qdsems:rs_trd_2004
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