European Union Enlargement and Agri-Food Trade Specialisation
Fabrizio De Filippis
The paper analyses the evolution of similarity between EU 15 agri-food exports and those of the new member States (Nms) and Turkey to the EU market. The main goal is to highlight, with the help of similarity indicators that take into account the structural, absolute value and quality differences between the export flows, whether EU enlargement can lead to toughe competitiveness on the European markets, or whether, rather, flows will prove increasingly specialised. The main finding is that the similarity in agri-food exports between the EU 15 member States and the Nms is quite low, although it tends to grow at a fast pace. With regard to Italy, the structure of agri-food trade seems to be more complementary than competitive with that of the Nms and Turkey. The similarity is explained by a reduced number of flows; moreover, if one takes into account the different quality of products, it decreases further, i.e. most export flows address different, non-competitive market segments.
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