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Abstract

In the majority of the EU potential members agricultural sector is playing a prominent role. Such an outcome is based on the high contribution of the agricultural sector on GDP, employment and trade accounts. EU initiated bilateral trade liberalization with the Western Balkans through the establishment of the ATPs. Furthermore, trade liberalization is extended in the regional level through the establishment of renewed CEFTA 2006. Despite the significant improvement, their export competitiveness remains weak. In the long run, agricultural exports might contribute on improvement of the export performance of the EU candidates. Main findings of the gravity model employed in this paper suggest that exports are positively affected by product size (GDP), and to lesser extent by the GDP of trading partners. Exports fall with the increase of the distance, and the fall in the value of exports is greater as larger is the distance between the trading partners. Therefore, the marginal fall in exports increases as far as the geographical distance between the trading partners increase. Initial assumptions that PTAs and cultural ties facilities the trade flows were affirmatively confirmed. Trade liberalization had a positive implication on improving export performance of the EU candidate countries

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