Authors: Jelena Stanojevic, Gabrijela Velickovic
According to the comprehensive literature on economic development, international trade is believed to be one of the several catalysts of productivity and growth. As being supported by the core empirical findings, internationally active countries are found to be more productive and to record greater growth rates as compared to those that produce only for the domestic market. The European Union (EU) is an important player in international trade, which has largely contributed to the smooth development of the world trade. Due to greater economic efficiency arising from the lower transaction costs, increased specialization, scale economy and competitive pressure, the EU trade liberalization has made an increasingly significant contribution to economic development of its accessing countries. This paper aims to empirically assess the effects of EU accession and trade openness on economic development of latest 13 EU members (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia). Methods used in the analysis are descriptive statistics, correlation and comparative analysis, and benchmarking. The conducted analysis results confirm the fact that country’s openness to international trade contributes to enhancement of its economic growth given a positive correlation between international trade (export and import) and economic growth.