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Exporters' Stories

EU trade deals give Europeans more and more opportunities as regards jobs, business growth and investment.

Foreign trade brings European consumers more choice, higher quality goods and lower prices. International trade also strengthens the competitiveness of Europe's businesses, while harnessing sustainable development worldwide.

Over 600 000 small businesses in Europe export goods and services to the rest of the world and each has its own story to tell.

The benefits for exporters and importers are numerous, as the following case studies show.

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Polish yachts set sail for Canada

CETA is set to remove 99% of all customs duties, including the 9.5% currently imposed on yachts

The Delphia Yachts shipyard was founded in 1990 by two brothers, Piotr and Wojciech Kot. The company has since become the largest builder of luxury yachts in Poland, exporting 95% of its production to more than 40 countries around the world.

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Belgian essential oils producer is ready for Canada

The upcoming EU-Canada trade agreement could facilitate product certification on both sides of the Atlantic – and create new export opportunities for a Walloon essential oils laboratory.

Exports are essential for the business success of many small companies in Europe. At Belgian essential oils producer Pranarôm, exports even account for 90% of the firm's turnover. Even though Pranarôm has already made a successful market entry in Canada, it welcomes the upcoming EU-Canada trade agreement as an opportunity that will facilitate the introduction and certification of its products in this market.

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Trade deals whet thirst for Italian wine

EU trade deals help Italian winery offer its produce in more countries around the world

Col d'Orcia is an Italian winery located in Tuscany. The vineyard estate has been producing wine since 1890 and now comprises 140 hectares. Perhaps most famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine famous to the region, Col d'Orcia has been exporting its wine around the world for 45 years, taking advantage of EU trade deals.

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EU trade deal secures jobs in German engineering sector

The removal of trade tariffs helped German manufacturer of bookbinding machines find profitable market in South Korea.

Kolbus, founded in 1775, is a German company from North Rhine-Westphalia which specialises in book binding and paper processing machines. The 2011 EU trade deal with South Korea abolished customs duties between the two partners, enabling Kolbus to offer its products at more competitive prices.

As the company's exports increased, so too did the number of its employees. The strength of the the company's exports has secured at least 10 jobs in Germany.

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Spanish company finds beefy market in the Middle East

EU trade agreements with countries such as Lebanon open new business markets for European beef producers

Cecinas Nieto is a Spanish family business specialised in gourmet meat products. The award-winning company, founded in 1965, exports its products to many countries around the world with a recent focus on the Middle East. The company has taken advantage of the EU-Lebanon trade agreement which enables it and other European beef exporters to keep pace with stiff competition from the likes of India and Brazil.

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Flemish company powers across the globe

EU trade deals lower tariff duties and other barriers to trade, helping small businesses grow

WeWatt is a Flemish company with a lofty goal: to turn human kinetic energy into usable power. The small company was founded in 2011 by Patricia Ceysens and Katarina Verhaegen in a bid to address not only today's largely sedentary lifestyle but also growing concerns about climate change and sustainable energy. The company creates innovative pieces of furniture equipped with pedals to generate electricity while users are waiting, working or socializing.

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Luxembourgish innovation recognised in South Korea

EU trade agreements open doors to SMEs

iNUI Studio is a Luxembourgish SME in the computing industry. Founded in 2010, the company develops software solutions for businesses. Specialised in the field of Natural User Interface (NUI) systems, the company also has patents pending in gesture recognition technologies. The SME, with sights set on international markets, benefits from the improved business environments that result from EU trade deals.

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New aromas for European coffee drinkers

Flemish coffee roaster creates partnerships around the globe

Established in the Belgian region of Flanders in 2001 as a coffee roaster, OR subsequently expanded, opening a training centre and three espresso bars, one in Ghent and two in Brussels. With the conviction that the best coffee beans come directly from farmers, the company decided to increase its international activity. As a result of the trade deals, OR was able to build partnerships with farmers in countries such as Costa Rica. These partnerships entail the farmers taking on an active role in the coffee-making process rather than just supplying beans.

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Spanish fashion takes on Mexico

EU trade deals lower customs duties and other barriers to trade helping small businesses grow

Optim is Barcelonan company which manufactures high quality frames and sunglasses. The company, like many Spanish fashion brands, has benefitted from the EU's trade agreements with countries such as Mexico, Peru and Colombia. EU trade agreements with partners around the world reduce customs duties and other barriers to trade, enabling European companies to offer their products at more attractive price.

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Colombian fruit an essential ingredient in Luxembourg firm’s growth

EU trade deals support the growth of small businesses, creating jobs

TUKI, founded in 2014, produces and sells Colombian fruit juice. The small Luxembourgish company benefited from the signing of the EU trade deal with Colombia and Peru. The agreement has made it easier for European firms to do business with the two countries. This has been instrumental in enabling TUKI to grow.

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Polish superfruit boosts South Korea

EU trade agreements open up new markets for Polish agricultural products

International trade has increased the demand for Chokeberry from Poland, the world's largest producer of the berry packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Poland produces more than 50,000 tons of chokeberry per year, of which more than 90% is exported. EU trade agreements, such as the one signed with South Korea in 2011, lower tariffs and ease the administrative burdens of international trade. The trade agreement enabled small Polish Chokeberry producer, Aronia Polska, to enter the South Korean market – a move that was previously only possible for the biggest players in the industry.

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Traditional Italian pasta triumphs in South Africa

In 2015, 33% of Italian pasta was exported to countries outside the EU

The EU trade agreement with South Africa opened up new business opportunities for Astorino, a family-run Calabrian pasta producer. The firm exported 1 tonne of pasta to South Africa in 2015.

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EU Trade deal is music to the ears of a Spanish manufacturer

Spanish manufacturer of classical guitars finds the groove In South Korea.

Guitarras Manuel Rodríguez is a Spanish manufacturer of classical guitars. Handcrafting guitars since 1902, the small company is now present in 120 countries around the world – and EU trade deals are helping it do so. Guitarras Manuel Rodríguez benefited from the 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal because the sharp reduction of trade tariffs enabled Spanish-made goods to more fairly compete with Chinese manufacturers.

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EU trade deals bring in dough for Austrian bakery

EU trade deals reduce import duties and remove other barriers to trade, helping European businesses rise to the top

Backaldrin is a family-owned baking ingredients manufacturer headquartered in Asten, Upper Austria. The company, founded in 1964, is the inventor of the Kornspitz grain roll and has found success in many markets all over the world.

In its expansion efforts, the family business targets countries with which the EU has negotiated trade deals. These allow Backaldrin to benefit from considerably lower customs duties and to offer its products at more competitive prices.

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For Luxembourgish SME the world is its market

EU trade deals support heavy lifting

CODIPRO is a small Luxembourgish business which designs and manufactures patented safety swivel rings for use with heavy equipment. The company makes full use of EU trade agreements, exporting to sixty countries around the world via a network of distributors.

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Italian design makes its presence felt in Chile

EU trade agreements support SME exports, boost investment and create jobs

The EU-Chile trade agreement simplified a complex business environment, eliminating customs duties and boosting international demand. Moving, an Italian chair manufacturer, has seen its exports to Chile rise by over 50% since the agreement came into force in 2003, while exports of Italian chairs as a whole to Chile have almost doubled.

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Innovation the key to Spanish firm's success in Mexico

By eliminating tariffs, an EU trade deal with Mexico has allowed Cosentino, a surface designer and manufacturer, to grow

Cosentino is a family-owned Spanish business specialised in the production of innovative surfaces for the field of architecture and design. It started life in 1940 as a processor of marble from the famous quarries at Macael in Andalusia. Today the company exports its products to more than 80 countries around the world and generates 90% of its turnover from exports.

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Belgian family business goes global

A Flemish company shines a light on the benefits of EU trade deals

EU trade agreements support small businesses throughout Europe. Discover how EU trade deals favour revenue growth and job creation in a Flemish family business.

Delta Light is a Belgian family business which specialises in architectural lighting for residential and commercial buildings. The company exports to more than 120 countries, accounting for 70% of its turnover.

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Polish cosmetics manufacturer gives the world a makeover

EU trade agreements lower customs duties and other barriers to trade, helping European companies enter new markets

From its beginnings in Przemyśl, Poland, in 1983, Inglot Cosmetics has become one of the world's leading cosmetics manufacturers. It went global in 2006, starting in Canada, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, India, Turkey and the USA. Inglot now has more than 600 shops in 80 countries and opens 60 to 70 more every year.

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Italian organic fertilisers crack the South American market

Small business sees a boost in turnover and investment thanks to EU trade deals

International trade has increased the demand for organic fertilizers from the Italian small business Biolchim. This has enabled the company to invest in research and hire more staff. Since the EU signed a trade agreement with Peru and Colombia in 2012 Biolchim’s exports to Latin America have risen by over 110%.

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French start-up plays its cards right in South Korea

EU-South Korea trade deal sees French plastic cards maker triumph in Asia

Evolis is a start-up located in Angers in the West of France. The company designs, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive range of printing systems and plastic card personalisation solutions. The 2011 EU trade agreement with South Korea cut trade tariffs between the two partners, enabling Evolis to offer its products to consumers at a more competitive price. Since the agreement entered into force in 2011, Evolis has seen an annual growth rate of approximately 17%.

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EU trade deals are a breath of fresh air

EU trade deals lower customs duties and other barriers to trade helping small businesses grow

Foramen is a Spanish manufacturer of oral hygiene products. Founded in 1918 the company now exports to 40 countries around the world.

EU trade agreements with countries such as Mexico have been instrumental in creating a system of fair and open trade. For companies like Foramen, this system has been essential to its path in becoming a leader in the oral hygiene sector which is dominated by companies that operate on low production costs.

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Free trade promotes natural products

Medium-sized company from Hamburg saves customs duties on rose hip imports from Chile

A Hamburg-based company benefits from reduced customs duties on the import of rose hips from Chile. As such, it saves about €24 000 per year due to the trade agreement between the EU and the South American country. “Free trade allows us to pass on high-quality raw materials to our clients under more competitive terms,” explains von Eben-Worlée. Free trade, he continues, eventually benefits the consumer, because it facilitates access to foreign high-quality products.

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Austrian wine makes a splash in the Andes

EU trade agreements with Colombia and Peru help Austrian winery enter new markets

Rainer Wess winery is located in the Kremstal region of the Wachau Valley of Austria. It has been producing wine since 2003. The winery has earned a strong reputation for its Grüner Veltiner and Riesling wines and presently exports to more than twenty countries around the world. Supported by EU trade deals with international partners, Rainer Wess exports 65% of its produce.

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Italian cotton manufacturer finds profitable markets around the world

EU trade deals reduce trade tariffs and open up new export opportunities

The Albini group is an Italian manufacturer of fabric for shirts. In business since 1876 the company, headquartered in Bergamo, exports to over 80 countries around the world. The Albini Group generates 70% of its turnover from exports and has benefited from EU trade agreements with partners around the world.

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Organic cosmetics producer finds success in South Korea

EU-South Korea trade agreement has enabled French SME to boost international exports

Laboratoire Soniam creates and produces a wide range of plant extracts for the cosmetics industry. The small company, situated in the heart of the Creuse region of France, benefited from the EU-South Korea trade agreement because the reduced tariff and administrative barriers helped the company offer its products at more attractive prices.

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In South Korea violins have a sound of Cremona

EU trade deals sees Italian luthiers triumph in South Korea

Sound of Cremona is a small artisan business from Cremona, Italy. The company has been making high quality violins since 1990 and exports its goods all around the world. The 2011 EU-South Korea trade agreement was particularly beneficial to Sound of Cremona, seeing a 65% increase in turnover there in the first five years.

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Spanish biscuits are popular in Algeria

EU trade deals lower customs duties helping European companies grow

Galletas Gullón is one of Europe's leading biscuit manufacturers and among the leading food groups in Spain. Founded in 1892, the company now exports its biscuits to more than 100 countries around the world. The EU-Algeria trade agreement entered into force in 2005. It lowered tariff barriers, which had previously been as high as 30%, to make it easier for European companies like Galletas Gullón to export their goods there.

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German solar panel company shines internationally

EU trade deals lower barriers to trade, boosting the exports of small Franconian provider of solar technology

The 2013 EU trade deal with Colombia has contributed to the international success of German solar panel company, IBC Solar. The agreement reduced the customs duties and bureaucratic burdens that previously made this market inaccessible. The company's turnover in Colombia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and South Africa increased by a combined €2m from 2013 to 2015.

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Polish outdoor equipment company climbs in popularity

EU-Ukraine trade deal smooths business relations and lowers customs duties

Fjord Nansen is a Polish company specialised in outdoor equipment. Exports are increasingly important to the company and EU trade deals support that endeavour. Between 2013 and 2014 about 25% of the company's turnover was generated from international sales. A key market is Ukraine. In 2011 the company exported a record 23% of its production there.

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Luxembourgish beer in Colombian bars

EU-Colombia trade deal opens up new export opportunities for Luxembourg-based brewery.

The 2013 EU-Colombia trade deal helped Luxembourg's Bofferding brewery to get into a market 100 times bigger than that of Luxembourg. Strong exports to Colombia have boosted the brewery's growth and overall, Bofferding now exports 34 000 hectolitres of beer a year.

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The only way is up - a cable car for Bogotá, made in Austria

Exports help world-leading manufacturer of rope-based transport systems gain traction in new markets South America.

The 2013 EU-Colombia trade deal made it easier for EU firms to do business there. This has helped Austrian manufacturer, Doppelmayr to expand in South America. Doppelmayr's international success also benefits local Austrian suppliers with contracts with companies based around Wolfurt region worth over €50 million.

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Polish pottery a hit in South Korea

International trade revitalises Polish pottery industry

International trade has reenergised the pottery industry in Bolesławiec, Poland, boosting business, employment and local investment.

Following the 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal, a third of the ceramics made by the town's Manufaktura pottery factory are sold in South Korea.

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Polish fruit and vegetables bound for Canada

CETA promises new markets for Polish agricultural products

Ewa Bis is a fruit and vegetable producer based in Warsaw. It was founded in 1987 by Marek Marzec who grew up in his family orchard in Sandomierz, Poland. It was there he learned the basics of growing fruit trees and planted the seeds to his future career. The Ewa Bis Group now employs more than 200 people and turned over more than €22 million in 2015. The company looks forward to the EU trade agreement with Canada which will offer EU firms more and better business opportunities in Canada and support jobs in Europe.

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Sparkling wine producer from Trier celebrates breakthrough in South Korea

Trade agreement removes tariffs – small company increases exports fifty-fold.

The 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal abolished customs duties between the two partners. This enabled German wine producer, Saar-Mosel-Winzersekt GmbH (SMW), to increase the number of bottles exported to South Korea by a multiple of 50. The company’s turnover has also increased by roughly 45% since the agreement was signed, rising to €1.3m – and an additional employee has been hired.

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Sicilian workmanship finds a place by Canada’s heart

Italian tie maker finds profitable market in Canada

Graffeo Cravatte is an Italian manufacturer of high quality handmade ties. The company, based in Alcamo in the province of Trapani has been supplying ties to the Italian market for the last 24 years. Recently, however, Graffeo Cravatte has been setting its sights on international markets as far away as North America.

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French wine destined for international markets

EU trade agreements help small producers enter new markets by lowering commercial barriers to trade

The 2011 EU trade deal with South Korea has enabled French wine producer, Pascal Jolivet, to take advantage of lower commercial barriers to trade. Just three years after the agreement entered into force, Pascal Jolivet’s exports to South Korea had risen to more than 5000 bottles each year.

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EU trade deal gives German firm a lift

Lifting equipment manufacturer expands thanks to trade relations with South Africa

The 2000 EU-South Africa trade deal has enabled a small manufacturer of industrial lifting equipment from south-west Germany to take advantage of new export opportunities and hire workers. Its equipment has helped to improve working conditions and promote equal opportunities in South Africa.

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South Korean food packaged by German machinery

German manufacturer of food packaging machines finds profitable market in South Korea

The 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal abolished customs duties between the two partners. This allowed German firm, Meypack to cut the price of its food packaging machines in South Korea by 8%, leading the value of its annual exports there to rise to over €2.4 million.

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Fresh water from a French firm

EU trade deal helps French water treatment plant tap previously inaccessible market

The 2003 EU-Chile trade deal cut import taxes and other trade barriers. This enabled French water treatment firm, Eau Pure, to enter the Chilean market, doubling turnover in two years. The workforce has also grown from 10 to 20 employees.

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Canadians catch a whiff of French cheese

CETA will enable a French cheese producer to satisfy Canadian demand whilst keeping all of its production in France

Fromagerie Delin is a French cheese producer based close to Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy. The company is a perfect example of the opportunities created for small businesses as a result of EU trade deals. The company’s international success has supported the breadth of its supply chain and supported job creation in the region.

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Exports help Austrian climbing equipment maker reach the summit

EU trade deals help Austrian company grasp new markets around the world.

The 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal eliminated customs duties enabling AustiAlpin, a climbing equipment maker, to start doing business there. The company now exports around 80% of its products and is eager to reap the benefits of more EU trade deals, such as with Canada.

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South American drinkers get a taste for Belgian beer

EU trade deals give small Belgian breweries access to new markets

The 2013 EU trade deal with Columbia and Peru made rules for beer imports to those countries clearer, which in turn made it easier for smaller breweries to sell their beer there. The family-owned Huyghe Brewery has taken advantage of the simplified administrative requirements, posting substantial profits as a result.

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Anti-aging beer is a great success in South Korea

Brandenburg-based brewery boosts sales in Asia, with sights now set on Canada.

The 2011 EU-South Korea trade agreement abolished customs duties and reduced bureaucratic barriers to trade. As a result, German brewery, Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle, was able to increase its exports to South Korea by 400 per cent. The company now looks forward to the ratification of the EU’s trade agreement with Canada. According to the company’s estimates, the brewery’s exports to Canada would increase by 33 per cent.

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Champagne exports make a fizz in Mexico

Trade deal helps Champagne house create jobs and increase production.

The 2000 EU-Mexico trade deal has multiplied trade, investment, growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. With the planned strengthening of the deal, the Drappier Champagne house, whose exports to Mexico have led to new jobs and increased production, will benefit from an even more open market.

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CETA holds great opportunity for German recycling firm

Hessian service provider has eyes on Canadian market with plans to contribute to environmental protection.

Reclay Group is an international service provider in packaging and waste management, headquartered in Herborn, Germany. The company works with 4000 clients worldwide and provides consultancy to governments in reaching their recycling targets. Reclay hopes to consolidate its position in Canada by participating in public procurement processes under the regulations of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

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Canadians get a taste for Spanish wine

EU-Canada trade deal would enable small Valencian winery to become a top seller of organic wine in Canada

Aranleón is a Valencian winery specialised in organic wines. The growing demand for organic wines in Canada has enabled Aranleón to become the strongest seller of organic wines in the Quebec province of Canada, with a total of 100 000 bottles sold in 2015. The company looks forward to the ratification of the EU’s trade agreement with Canada because the reduction of trade tariffs would enable Aranléon’s wines to more easily access markets in all regions of Canada.

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A caffeine boost for European export

EU trade deals help turn Austrian coffee house into a global franchise.

The Austrian Coffeeshop Company has over 300 franchises worldwide. The company’s international expansion was also possible thanks to the EU’ trade agreements with countries such as Mexico, Morocco, and Egypt, which reduced much of the administrative work needed to enter those markets. This lowered the cost of establishing franchises and made products cheaper, although some challenges remain.

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French manufacturer of gasometers fuels clean energy production in South Korea

EU trade deal enables small Bordeaux business to export green technologies.

VSO Biogas Technologies is a Bordeaux-based business which specialises in gasholders and equipment for biogas storage, all of which are made in France. The 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal came at a golden opportunity for the company because the reduction of tax barriers and administrative procedures enabled VSO to offer its products at more competitive prices. Since 2011, VSO’s trade with South Korea has been generating a turnover of between €100 000 and €300 000 each year.

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Austrian jewellery shines across the globe

Viennese jeweller moves into South America thanks to EU trade deal.

The 2013 EU trade deal with Colombia has contributed to the international success of Viennese jeweller, Freywille. The firm has hired new workers and opened a successful shop in Colombia, which should lead to further expansion in the Americas.

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Canadians satisfy a sweet tooth

French confectioner finds a sweet deal in Canada.

La Confiserie du Roy René is a French confectioner specialised in calissons. The company, based in Aix-en-Provence, has been perfecting the art of calissons (sweets made of candied fruit and almonds) since 1920. The company adopted a strategy of internationalisation in 2014 by taking advantage of EU trade deals with partners around the world. Today, La Confiserie du Roy René is a world leader in both making and retailing calissons.

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From East to West, everyone loves Italian balsamic vinegar

Italian vinegar producer finds profitable market in South Korea.

Mengazzoli is an Italian manufacturer of vinegar. The small company has been producing a large variety of vinegars since 1962. Ever since the EU-South Korea trade agreement entered into force in 2011, Mengazzoli has enjoyed a strong and steady increase in demand, tripling its revenue in that market. Mengazzoli now has its eyes on the EU’s trade agreement with Canada, an important market for Italian vinegar which absorbs 5% of the total production.

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