Bilateral Trade

Statistics on the EU's trade balance with the PA indicate that the PA is by far the smallest trading partner for the EU in the EuroMed, with total trade (imports + exports) amounting to no more than €71 million (2008), or less than one fifth of our total aid programme for the year. The vast majority of this is accounted for by EU exports to the PA (€64m). PA exports to the EU declined by almost 50% in 2008 to just €7m. EU-PA trade statistics may be distorted by Palestinian traders opting to use Israeli channels to export their products. Such products would then leave for the EU under Israeli certificates of origin.

The PA trade portfolio is concentrated in certain sectors. Its main commodities are stone, agricultural products, furniture, metal processing, food/beverages footwear/leather, pharmaceuticals, handicraft and textiles/garments. Most of these products constitute low-skilled, high employment sectors. It is expected that efforts will be made to increase trade in services, notably IT-services. In common with other EuroMed countries, the EU is negotiating with the PA on the liberalisation of trade in services and investment.

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