Access2Markets portal launched to support SME trade

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 14 October 2020

The European Commission has launched the Access2Markets online portal to help small and medium-sized firms trade beyond the European Union’s (EU) borders.

The new portal responds to requests from stakeholders to better explain trade agreements and help companies ensure their products are eligible for duty discounts.

It will serve both companies that already trade internationally and those that are just starting to explore opportunities in foreign markets.

Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “We need to help our companies, in particular our SMEs, to derive maximum benefit from our trade agreements. This is why we have created this new portal to help our smaller companies navigate the world of international trade.

“This one-stop-shop will help European firms to make the most of the EU’s network of trade agreements and get the best access to the markets, products, and inputs they need to grow and to stay competitive.”

The European Union has a large network of trade agreements with over 70 countries and regions and is currently negotiating a raft of new deals.

Access2Markets breaks this complex set of rules down into practical information covering topics such as tariffs, taxes, rules of origin, product requirements, customs procedures, and trade barriers.

Small businesses represent 88% of all EU exporters and their exports account for one-third of all EU exports, in turn supporting 13 million jobs. As a result, the Commission recognises the importance of paying particular attention to small businesses in the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Small businesses are vital to our economy that thrives on the goods and services they provide,” said Véronique Willems, secretary-general of the European association of small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEunited.

“SMEunited is pleased to see the launch of the Access2Markets portal. This portal will help small and medium-sized enterprises overcome obstacles to tapping the global market. Providing them with better access to information that is tailored to their needs will be to the benefit of all Europeans.”

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