The European Commission has presented to the European Parliament its regular report on the openness of the European market to imports from developing countries. The report sets out how the EU has continued in 2007 to use its trade policy to advance a pro-development agenda and analyses the relevant data for which the most recent available is for the period up to the end of 2006. The report shows that the EU continues to offer market access for developing country exports that is unmatched by any other major economy. EU imports from developing countries rose 16% in 2006 from 2005 and by 14% if imports from China are excluded. According to the WTO, overall global merchandise trade grew by around 8% over the same period.
The report also assesses EU measures to help developing countries integrate further into the global economy by developing their capacity to trade. The EU’s Aid for Trade strategy of October 2007, jointly agreed by the Commission and EU Member States, provides a strong basis for implementation of Aid for Trade in their respective development assistance activities. It argues that both the Doha WTO trade talks and the ongoing negotiations for comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements and other bilateral and regional agreements have considerable potential for increasing imports and economic diversification in the developing world. http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/global/development/pr220408_en.htm