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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the global economy has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. Alongside the traditional economic powers like the European Union and the United States, thriving regions like Asia, in the form of China and India, or South America are emerging more and more out of the economic shadows. However, we all experience the good side of trade on a daily basis: affordable products in our shops, export opportunities and new jobs, for example, in mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacturing or with service providers. The positive contribution made by trade policy to the combating of poverty also gets far too brief a mention in the public debate. In this regard, I would like to see a balanced information campaign by the Commission highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of external trade, and I would be extremely grateful if we could uphold this demand contained in the report. I would like to thank everyone who has worked on this report most sincerely – all of the many colleagues in various talks and with more than 200 amendments in committee. I would like to thank Parliament’s administration and various external partners in dialogue from numerous different spheres who have supported us all with their background knowledge and their convictions and provided both positive and negative comments. It is now up to the Commission to take up our proposals and to implement them. We will be keeping a very watchful eye on this, Mr De Gucht. That also has to have an impact on our policies and our strategy. However, I am not convinced that the Commission’s new trade strategy will provide adequate answers to these changes. The challenges that the European Union is facing in the area of external trade can be illustrated very well with a few figures. By 2015, 90% of global growth will be generated outside the Union, with 50 countries, including the 27 Member States of the EU, accounting for 80% of world trade. However, the European Union’s share in the world’s relative GDP is continually declining and is faced with a rapid increase in the performance of the emerging countries. In 2000, at the launch of the Lisbon strategy, the European Union still accounted for 25% of world GDP. By 2020, this share will fall to just 18% of world GDP. While the two biggest developed economies, Europe and the United States, accounted for 48% of world GDP in the year 2000, this share will be down to a third by 2020. That is a relative decline of 27%. China and India will account for around a quarter of world economic output by 2020. That is a relative increase of 150%. In this regard, we need to bear in mind that the European Union’s economy is highly dependent on participating in external growth. Even today, 18% of the Union’s labour force, in other words, almost 40 million jobs, is dependent on the Union’s trade performance. The comparison between trade opening and employment over the past 10 years in almost all countries in the world shows that trade opening goes together with higher employment and job creation. Therefore, we must make use of these opportunities. There is something that I believe to be particularly important. The Commission is called on to present a revised mid- and long-term trade strategy by the summer of 2013. This should be possible on the basis of a thorough analysis of the current trends in world trade and a forecast of developments within and outside the European Union over the next 10 to 15 years. I would be very pleased, Commissioner De Gucht, if you could assure us of that already today. I think that we need a genuine future-oriented strategy in order to better deal with the changes that have occurred over the last 10 years. I would also briefly like to mention one particular paragraph contained in the report, and that is paragraph 11, because many people still only associate bad news, such as job relocations and environmental and social dumping, with trade or globalisation. Yes, these things do exist too, and it is our job to work together to tackle them."@en1

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