Study on the use of Free Trade Agreements

Client: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Sectors: Economic growth

A lot of attention has been paid to the negotiations of recent trade agreements (e.g. TTIP, CETA), but limited attention is paid to the agreements that are already in force and how they are used. 

Previous research in the EU and its Member States has shown that business is often not very familiar with the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) concluded by the EU. The preference utilisation rates (PURs) of a number of EU FTAs are relatively low for the Netherlands as compared to the EU average.

In this study, Ecorys investigated:

•    The familiarity with EU FTAs and the extent to which Dutch companies use them

•    The barriers that Dutch companies face when they want to make advantage of the FTA

•    The information sources used by business to obtain information about FTAs and the information that business feel is currently lacking/difficult to find

•    The development in the implementation of the EU-South Korea FTA in the Netherlands.

The results of this study provided lessons learnt about the use of FTAs by business and the barriers encountered in the use of these FTAs. These lessons learnt are shared with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and can be taken into account in negotiations to make existing and future FTAs more relevant for business
 

Key Experts

Paul Wymenga Senior Partner