1. EU prosperity is dependent on international trade. Long-term EU GDP growth predictions are at a lower level than in other parts of the world. Consequently, the EU share of the global market will decrease should the EU fail to participate in the faster growth in other parts of the world. It is likely therefore that extra-EU trade will grow faster than intra-EU trade.
2. The decline in global trade since 2009 is problematic and needs to be better understood. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), some three quarters of the slowdown in trade is explained by weak global demand.
3. The share of the number of exporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is rather high in the EU, although the share of their export value is lower compared to number of exporters. This wider base of exporting companies increases the robustness of European exports, assuming the SMEs’ operational environment remains supportive of expansion and exports.
4. It is recognised that GDP growth and trade are interlinked – consequently measures which facilitate international trade also have positive effects on the development of GDP