The Impact of the TTIP on the V4 Region. Trade and Investment Opportunities

None of the impact assessments is capable of fully forecasting the implications of the TTIP, and even less able to anticipate unexpected political and economic changes, not to mention the unpredictability in the reactions of third countries. The case of the EU internal market – and experiences of other FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) – prove that less developed countries may lose with the liberalization and the opening up of markets. The case of Greece and other southern countries of the EU clearly prove that problems with free-trade agreements and other integration initiatives can be numerous. Less developed countries of the European Union, or those that are not competitive enough, might not gain as much as forecasted; what is more, the risk of losing in international trade is not negligible. Despite the remarkable growth performance in international comparison and the major advances in catching up with developed countries in the last two decades, the peripheral/semi-peripheral position of the V4 region has not changed significantly. The way a country in the CEE region integrates into the international economy is crucial from the perspective of its economic development path. From the point of view of the international division of labor, the region itself became the supplier of foreign-owned manufacturing firms, most importantly in the automotive and closely related sectors while preserving traditional elements and old social structures. The very large exposure of the vehicle industry in the region’s exports may normally be very risky. Given that the TTIP's most beneficial trade impacts will probably be felt in this sector, export dependence this time may lead to increased industrial output or exports, thus contributing to faster economic growth. Most importantly, the positive impact on German vehicle imports is likely to propel the region’s production of parts and components as well. (Click on the picture!)


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