“This project will contribute to strengthening the strategic partnership between FAO and the EC. In the context of our planned cooperation on commodities and trade facilitation, it represents an important step forward,” said Alexander Sarris, Director of FAO’s Commodities and Trade Division.
In his presentation, Matthew Baldwin, Acting Director in the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission, said: “The Export Helpdesk is a clear demonstration of the EC’s determination to help developing countries in their efforts to integrate further into the global economy. They deserve a fair chance to compete in the EU market, and our Helpdesk is designed to give them just that: a series of practical measures to help developing country exporters benefit properly from our preferential trade programme.”
The Export Helpdesk was initially launched in February 2004 with the goal of enhancing the economic growth of developing countries by facilitating the access of their exporters to the EU market. The online service has been providing free and comprehensive information to exporters from developing countries on how to export a product into the EU.
Confirmation of the importance of the Export Helpdesk for developing countries’ exporters is provided by the impressive statistics of its use: it has been receiving an average of nearly 3 500 visitors per day so far this year. In addition, 140-160 questions have been received per month by the contact section and an average of 100-120 offers and demands have been published per month in the market place section.
The Export Helpdesk provides the following information online:
- EU and Member States’ import requirements and internal taxes applying in each Member State for each particular product (Requirements and taxes section);Users of the Helpdesk are invited to make suggestions as to further information which they consider could be usefully added to the Helpdesk to better serve their needs (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- EU preferential import regimes for the benefit of developing countries (Import tariffs, Customs documents and Rules of origin sections);
- Trade data for the EU and its individual Member States (Statistics section);
- A “Market Place” where exporters in developing countries can establish contacts with importers from the EU (Market Place section);
- Links to EU and Member State authorities and international organizations involved in practical trade operations and trade promotion (Links section);
- Possibility to lodge detailed information requests about real-life situations encountered by exporters (Contact section).
For more information, visit:
Marta Moya Díaz
European Commission, DG Trade Unit E.3
(+32) 2 299 21 25
FAO press office
(+39) 06 570 53625