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Minister Humphreys launches a report by Copenhagen Economics highlighting future growth potential in the European Single Market in Services

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, this morning (29th November 2018) launched an independent report entitled “Making EU Trade in Services Work for All”. This Report is the result of a collaborative initiative involving her Department and the Enterprise Ministries in Denmark, Finland and the Czech Republic. It makes a compelling case for the future growth potential of the European Services Sector if action is taken to reduce restrictions and barriers to cross border trade in services. Copenhagen Economics were commissioned to undertake this study on behalf of the four Member States.
The Report was launched at an event in Brussels this morning in the offices of the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU, in the presence of Competitiveness Ministers and senior officials from Europe’s Member States. The EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, also participated at the launch.
This Report is also included on the agenda at the EU Competitiveness Council, when they meet later today. Minister Humphreys will introduce the findings of the Report to her fellow Enterprise Ministers, on behalf both of Ireland, and its partners in this project, Denmark, Finland, and the Czech Republic.
The Report demonstrates that the Single Market has not, to date, delivered to same benefits for services - in terms of reducing barriers to intra-EU trade – as it has for goods. It identifies an evidence base for the imperative of making greater progress in making the Single Market a reality for Services and sets out a call for six actions to address this. These include actions at both European level, for the Commission, and at national level, for the Member States.
Speaking at the launch this morning, Minister Humphreys said:
“This important Report by Copenhagen Economics, on Services in the Single Market, is a very positive example of leadership by my Department in working jointly with three other Member States – Denmark, Finland, and the Czech Republic – in advancing our common policy interests.
For Ireland, with a relatively small domestic market, it is a tremendous advantage for us to have the EU’s Single Market of over 500 million people on our doorstep, with no tariffs. This is especially valuable as our companies work to diversify into new export markets. In Brussels, I will be arguing for even greater progress to be made in facilitating companies who are seeking to trade their services into other Member States.
The findings in the Report are very compelling, in showing the increasing importance of services, not only in their own right, but also as making a vital and increasing contribution to manufactured goods. There is an example in the report which illustrates that 30 services are involved in getting a loaf of bread into the shop, and that the services represent 72% of the final cost of the bread.
These links between services and other parts of the economy are especially true in the digital age, and the Report shows that trade in digital services is growing faster than trade in services in general, and much faster than trade in goods. So, making it easier for companies to buy and sell services, especially across borders in the Single Market, is crucial to our competitiveness as digital activity grows.”

Photo caption: Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market; Mairead Mc Guinness, Vice President of the European Parliament; and Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, pictured at the launch of the Copenhagen Economics Report entitled “Making EU Trade in Services Work for All”.

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