The first decade of the 21st century has been characterised by an accelerated accumulation of knowledge. This is partly linked to a widening of the geographical distribution of knowledge production, in particular in the rising Asian economies.
Moreover, economic development – spurred by increased access to international markets – has been the driving force behind the halving of extreme poverty over the past 30 years. While this opens up new opportunities to address major worldwide societal challenges, it also implies an intensification of worldwide competition at the higher ends of the value chains.
Despite the economic recession, Europe remains a major knowledge centre in the world with almost 30% of world knowledge production. At the same time, technology development in Asia and in the United States is often more strategic than in the EU. It is more focused on transformative and pervasive technologies oriented towards emerging global markets. Some European countries are strategically focused and very competitive in technologies for societal challenges and in key enabling technologies, in particular Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweitzerland, Israel and Austria.
Sustainable economic growth for Europe will increasingly require persistent investment to transform the economy towards a more knowledge-intensive structure. Here, SMEs are crucial for economic growth and development: they are the ones who innovate and create jobs. Giving SMEs the opportunity to grow and invest will lead to higher employment and strengthen the economic structure.
For Europe a more strategic approach would focus on boosting growth and jobs in Europe throughout the EU, such as by meeting the Europe 2020 targets for research, development, and innovation, investing in European success and advancing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Open markets for trade and investment lead to closer contacts and closer ties between people and skilled labour is a key source for competitive knowledge-based economy. In highly innovative economies, people are skilled, incentivised, enabled and demanding. Skilled labour, combining generic and sector-specific knowledge, is the engine for service innovation and for quality manufacturing.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU-U.S. opens up the way for new opportunities of international cooperation in a constantly changing world. Crucially, the businesses that have most to gain TTIP are not large corporations but SMEs. They don’t have the big firms’ economies of scale or the in-house lawyers to overcome trade barriers. And EU-U.S. negotiators are now carefully examining how a TTIP deal on investor protection (ISDS) could strike the right balance.
In fact, the commonly used TTIP: is about more than that economic boost, though. It’s about building alliances, networks build on people to people, its also who will set global standards for the regulation of goods and services in the 21st century. And that means strengthening shared Atlantic values, from the fundamentals of democracy and the rule of law, to key areas such as the environment and social standards. And if done right, it can make a contribution, helping set the economic framework for peace.
TTIP trady politcy can help to response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. To do this, the EU believes that TTIP should include a legally binding commitment by both sides not to restrict exports of oil and gas to the other partner. The EU and the US share values on all of these issues.
This past weekend Commissioner Cecilia Malmström address at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels Brussels focused on the links between trade, security policies and how trade can promote peace and Security by spreading prosperity. Because, trade policy, diplomacy and security operate in the same world.