State Secretary for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Zdenko Lucić on Tuesday participated in an informal videoconference of trade ministers.
The ministers exchanged views on the Commission’s communication on the Trade Policy Review, presented on 18 February under the title of An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy.
The ministers welcomed the communication and emphasized the timeliness of the review in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, global uncertainty, as well as political and geoeconomic tensions that lead to unilateralism and sidestepping international cooperation and institutions. The EU trade and investment policy should contribute to the recovery, assist in the realization of internal and foreign policy goals, support green and digital transformation, help achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and ensure competitiveness in the new digital economy.
Lucić underscored that the EU economy should remain open and that maintaining an open international trade system helmed by the WTO was crucial for ensuring just trade. He also welcomed the fact that the communication highlighted the importance of trade relations with the neighbours and stressed the importance of a stronger economic integration of the Western Balkans. “We support WTO reform. The goal of EU trade policies is to ensure a favourable environment for EU companies, notably those who have shown to be the most vulnerable amid the pandemic – small and mid-sized entrepreneurships,” said the state secretary.