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Ponta Delgada ,  September 06, 2016

Study confirms "positive potential" of Transatlantic Partnership for the Azores

The Regional Under Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations said the study on the impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and USA on Azorean economy confirms the "positive potential" that this partnership can bring to the Region, being an important tool to prepare a response to challenges. The study was released today in Ponta Delgada and was specifically conducted for the archipelago.
"In the Azores, we are Europeans of Atlantic and this immense ocean that is home to all Azoreans is now an area of peace, civilisation and democracy, but today is also an area of accelerated scientific and technological cooperation and an area where interconnection is growing in the fields of transport, energy and economy," said Rodrigo Oliveira.
 In this regard, the government official stressed that "the Government of the Azores faces the Transatlantic Partnership as a real opportunity for entrepreneurs and the Region, where they may find, in the medium-term, a favourable context that reconciles the historical, cultural and institutional relations with the USA and the geostrategic position of the Region with the increase of trade and services in the Region."
In his speech, Rodrigo Oliveira stressed, however, that are still some "key issues" for the Azores in this negotiation process that have yet to be discussed, such as "geographical indications and wine or those related to health and plant health."
Under the negotiations of this partnership, Rodrigo Oliveira stated as "key points of the position of the Azores" the defence of regional production by safeguarding designations and protected regional indications in order to ensure the respect for the authenticity of exported Azorean products. Moreover, he mentioned the fact that animal well-being and environmental standards applied in the USA are less stringent than those in force in the EU.
The Regional Under Secretary stressed the importance of conducting a specific study on the impact of TTIP in the Azores, such as the one that was recently carried out by the Centre of Applied Economics Studies of the Atlantic at the University of the Azores with the sponsorship of the Azorean Government and the Luso-American Foundation for Development. The government official stated that "in a medium-term perspective, by 2030, all scenarios point to positive impacts in the regional GDP and the trend to increase over time."
GDP growth and private consumption, job creation and improvement of the foreign trade balance are some of the impacts highlighted in the study presented today.
"It is worth noting that our exports to the USA comprise a wide range of products, mainly those from the agri-food sector, being exported directly or through the Portuguese mainland market. In this context, we have no doubt that the elimination of export barriers to the USA will boost the potential of regional production and exports, with the reduction of non-tariff barriers (NTBs)," said the government official.
According to Rodrigo Oliveira, "this export potential will also directly benefit from the reduction or elimination of tariffs, which in the case of dairy exports may reach 139% or 22/23% in the case of beverages."
 In his speech, the Regional Secretary also recalled the work that has been developed by the Government in the promotion of regional products in the US market in order to "promote the expansion of regional exports." In this context, he pointed out initiatives such as the participation in trade fairs, business missions and several promotional events, in addition to initiatives specifically directed to emigrant communities, such as the 1st Meeting of Diaspora Entrepreneurs in the Azores.
"The Government of the Azores is not waiting for the conclusion of negotiations. It is taking actions and, regardless of when the Partnership enters into force, this is and will always be a market of great importance for Azorean products," said Rodrigo Oliveira.




Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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