Export from EU Brussels, 4 June 2008
Market Access Seminar: "The Market Access Partnership: What Do You Expect and How Can You Contribute?"
At our Market Access seminar in June 2008 delegates took stock of the European Union’s renewed Market Access Strategy, considering how to build on the strategy’s progress over its first year of implementation. The seminar was jointly organised by the Commission and the Slovenian Presidency to review the Market Access Partnership’s activities so far and to consider how best to increase the Partnership’s impact in the future.
The seminar was launched with a plenary session featuring high level participation from the Commission, Members States, business and the European Parliament. A series of workshops then focused on the more technical aspects of the Market Access Partnership, allowing participants the opportunity to discuss topics such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the particular needs for small and medium sized enterprises when accessing neighbouring markets, access to raw materials and the best way to organise support locally in third countries.
The key messages from the seminar fall into three main themes: Co-ordination, Coherence and Transparency, the further development of which will enhance and support the Market Access Partnership's continued success.
- Key note speaker: David O'Sullivan, Director General DG Trade
- Sabina Koleša, Director General Ministry of the Economy Slovenian Presidency
- Philippe de Buck, Secretary General Business Europe
- Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Vice-Chairman European Parliament - INTA Cttee
- Workshop 1: "Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures"
- Workshop 2: "Neighbouring countries and Small and Medium Enterprises"
- Workshop 3: "Raw materials"
- Workshop 4: "How to best organise the local support"
The proposed actions below aim to translate the seminar's conclusions into concrete actions. These can be grouped into immediate or short-term improvements, medium to long-term considerations, and finally some suggestions to enhance specific support for SMEs.
- A list of existing local Market Access Teams and Working Groups in Brussels will be made available to all stakeholders, who will be welcome to suggest new cases or new teams
- Timely information about local Market Access Team meetings and bilateral meetings on a national level should be communicated (via the MAAC), enabling an alignment of priorities and provision of additional expertise from industry experts in Brussels
- Distribution of Market Access Newsletters and Flash notes to Member State embassies in third countries, either by the EU Delegations or by the Member States central authorities
Medium- to long-term:
- Launch of further Market Access Teams to enhance and institutionalise cooperation between Member States, Commission and business in third countries (especially in important markets as the BRIC countries or in neighbouring countries).
- Explore the possibility of a Market Access Conference in third countries
- Promotional activities for Market Access Partnership and the Market Access Database especially for SMEs
- Availability of the front-page of the Market Access Database into several languages
- "Train the trainers" activities of EU, Member States and business organisations, should ensure that SMEs receive practical local export support from SME intermediaries
- Market Access partners, especially business organizations and Member States, should coordinate the availability of appropriate Market Access instruments for "their" SMEs at local level, regional and national level