The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the United States aims at improving global competitiveness and to define future trade standards in the world, and Europe will not allow its consumer protection standards to be jeopardised, it was concluded at a conference on what the TTIP is bringing to Croatia, the EU and the world, held in Zagreb on Monday.

The aim of the TTIP, which the EU and US have been negotiating since mid-2013, is to create the largest free trade zone in the world and is part of a plan for a common transatlantic market.

According to some estimates, TTIP should bring the EU economy an additional 120 billion euros per annum by 2027 and 95 billion euros to the US.

Considering the large public concern in Croatia and Europe, and also in the US, because of the possible implications of the agreement, a European Commission delegate, Christian Burgsmueller, who is member of the Cabinet of Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, underscored that the EU would not lower its social, ecological, health, food and other standards because of the TTIP.

He noted that the European Commission is not advocating the TTIP of its own accord but that it was authorised by all EU member states to negotiate it and that the final word would be up to the Council of the EU and European Parliament to either accept or reject the agreement.

We wish for every sector of Europe's economy to benefit, including Croatia, and that is our aim, Burgsmueller underlined.

Croatia's MEPs participated in the conference organised by the European Commission Representation in Croatia and the European Parliament's information office in Croatia, and they consider that the TTIP negotiations will not be completed this year and will continue next year and longer, if need be.

The executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia (AmCham), Andrea Doko Jelusic, emphasised that the TTIP primarily referred to global competitiveness and that there was no need to fear it because it should benefit both sides.

Jelusic believes that there was no need to fear a massive outflow of jobs from Croatia to the US.

Speaking about the impact of TTIP on Croatia, Assistant Foreign and European Affairs Minister Joseph Gene Petric pointed out the conclusions of a recent study commissioned by the ministry. According to the study, which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Centre for International Development, a GDP growth of 0.01% could be expected if just customs were abolished pursuant to the TTIP. If customs and 10% of non-tariff barriers to trade were abolished, GDP could grow by 0.02% and in the case of no customs and completely doing away with non-tariff barriers, a growth of 0.11% could be expected.

Exports of goods and services from Croatia to the US in the first case would grow by 1.9%, in the second case by 4.25% and in the third case by 25.6%. Imports from the US could grow 1.2% in the first case, 2.77% in the second case and 16.4% in the third case.

Latest news

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."

First local elections in 20 years to be held in Nepal on May 14

Nepal's government announced the dates for forthcoming local elections on Monday, nearly 20 years after polls were last held for municipalities and village councils in the country.

US Defence Secretary: We are not in Iraq to seize Iraqi oil

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, in reference to comments made by President Donald Trump last month.

Bryan Adams to play Zagreb

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, who has sold more than 100 million albums in his 40-year-long career, will perform in Zagreb on November 9, according to his website and Facebook account.