Benefits of economic globalisation in Europe: facts and figures 

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Increased exports, jobs, opportunities for companies... Find out how globalisation can benefit people and enterprises in the EU.

Globalisation creates many benefits and opportunities, as well as challenges. The EU aims to make globalisation work by maximising its opportunities and mitigating its negative effects.

More trade for European companies

The European trade regime and the numerous trade agreements negotiated by the EU make it a good region to do business with. It is the top trading partner for 80 countries.

As a result, the EU is one of the largest players in international trade. It is the world’s second largest exporter of goods after China and the third largest importer after the US and China. In addition, the EU is the number one trader of services.

Job opportunities

Globalisation also creates job opportunities. In 2019, more than 38 million jobs (one in five) in the EU were supported by exports to countries outside the EU. For example: in France in 2019, exports outside the EU supported 3.4 million jobs.

Most of those export-related jobs are well paid. They are on average 12% better paid than other jobs.

Read more on globalisation's impact on employment

Advantages for consumers

The big benefits of globalisation and trade to the consumer come from imports. Trade agreements mean importers pay lower duties. Together with increased competition, this means lower prices for goods and services.

Consumers can also benefit from more choice, as the variety of products and services increases.

The benefits of lower prices and more choice amounted to about €600 a year per EU consumer in 2017.

The level of wealth and comfort is increasing while standards of living are improving.

Benefits of trade within the EU

Inside the EU, the single market aims to remove barriers to trade between EU countries.

The European single market is the world's biggest barrier-free, economic area. This area includes almost 450 million people with a gross domestic product of about €14.5 trillion in 2021.

It is estimated that the single market has created 2.8 million jobs.