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Businesses urged to work with Europe

Wednesday November 11th, 2009

In light of the imminent EU Services Directive, which is due to come into force at the end of 2009, Business Minister Ian Lucas is urging companies in the services sector to take advantage of new opportunities to do business with Europe.

The aim of the Services Directive is to reduce the bureaucracy that can make it difficult for service providers to enter new markets and compete outside of their home countries. Sectors such as construction, business consultancy, leisure and hospitality and accountancy could potentially benefit from this initiative.

The Directive also requires EU Member States to establish ‘web portals’ so that service providers have a single point of contact to find out what legal requirements they must fulfil to operate in the country in question.

Regulations have now been presented to Parliament in order to implement the Directive in the UK.

Mr Lucas said: “Services account for about 70% of GDP but only 20% of cross-border trade in the EU. However, the market for services in Europe is opening up. It’s important that UK firms, including SMEs, are ready to grasp the opportunities this presents for new jobs and growth.”

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