Ecorys Investigate the Usage of Trade Agreements by Dutch Entrepreneurs

Client: Dutch ministry of Forgeign Affairs | Sectors: Economic growth

The EU has conducted many trade agreements in recent decades. However, research shows that having a trade agreement does not necessarily lead to its use by exporters and importers.

So far, relatively little is known about the reasons why trade agreements are used or not. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed Ecorys to gain more insight into:

•    The familiarity of Dutch companies with EU trade agreements and the extent to which Dutch companies use these trade agreements

•    The obstacles that Dutch companies are faced with if they want to use trade agreements

•    The information that Dutch companies use to gain knowledge about the trade agreements and the information that is currently missing, or difficult to find

In addition, the study also includes a case study on the use of the EU-South Korea trade agreement and the effect that this agreement has on Dutch business.

On August 29, Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) sent the Dutch House of Representatives an Ecorys report on the use of trade agreements by Dutch entrepreneurs and what obstacles they experience. She also responds to the findings from the report.

The findings of this study offer points for improvement that can be included in the negotiations of new trade agreements and / or in the use of existing trade agreements (with the aim of making the trade agreements more useful for companies).

Key Experts

Corine Besseling Consultant