Our business partners
The RESIMARMO® market in France.
Our European partners: France’s trade remains very European, even home-grown! Thus, it carries out almost half of the trade flows with European countries, which are mainly bordering. In the third quarter of 2017, the dynamism of exports to the European Union was confirmed (+2.2%, after +1.8%), particularly to Germany, Italy and the new Member States. RESIMARMO® achieves similar results in percentage terms. The “Brexit” was not without consequences for the group. The Italian management has decided to freeze the new sites in the United Kingdom until the English economic conditions for trade are better defined.
Our top 10 partners
The top 10 partners, which represent two-thirds of our trade, remain mainly European and developed but now include two major emerging countries, China and Russia.
- 7 of RESIMARMO®‘s 10 main trading partners are European, reflecting the region’s still dominant position in our exports, which account for nearly two-thirds of our exports.
- 6 of these countries belong to the European Union,
- 5 to the euro area
- and all of them are the immediate neighbours of France and Italy.
- The United States currently occupies only 6th place.
- In total, 8 of our top 10 partners are advanced economies.
This is due to a number of factors. One of them is the empirically observed link in international trade between trade intensity on the one hand and geographical proximity and size of economies on the other hand (so-called “gravity” phenomenon).
In addition, for the EU and members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) such as Switzerland, there is the existence of a “customs union” and, in the case of the euro area, a monetary union, which is likely to promote the development of trade.
The weight of Germany
Franco-German trade largely distances itself from the other 9 bilateral flows, with almost 17% of our exports, which is more than double the weight of the countries following Germany in the ranking.
Belgium and Italy
Trade with Belgium and Italy remains important, between 7% and 8% – almost 4 times higher than that of the 10th partner. But for Belgium it is export, while for Italy it is import. Indeed, the great majority of our products are made in Italy.
China, Spain, and the United States
China, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom have a relatively close weight, between 5.5% and 6.5%.
Europe in general
The European Union as a whole remains our main trading partner, representing nearly 75% of our exports.
Let us summarise this from a macroeconomic point of view, in Europe the fall in the costs of our businesses and the increase in productivity have positive effects in terms of household and business incomes on the one hand and in terms of selling prices on the other. There is therefore an increase in both internal and external demand due to greater price competitiveness vis-à-vis the rest of the world. Consequently, the response to this rising demand is an increase in production: there is therefore economic growth that favours the improvement of the well-being of the population (increase in income, employment, etc.).
Secondly, the European Commission has always maintained that the organisation of “free competition” and “undistorted” is an exclusively European prerogative and that states cannot set their own competition rules. Three sets of arguments justify this.
- A common competition policy is first of all necessary in order to prevent the member countries from waging economic war on each other through official or disguised subsidies that would benefit certain domestic producers. This would be very costly for the States’ budget, and ultimately inefficient, since all States would be obliged to provide at least the same amount of subsidy as the neighbouring country to enable its domestic producers to survive. To avoid this, the European Commission has special powers: it sanctions the payment of undue government aid. It also specifies the exceptional conditions under which support for firms in difficulty may be acceptable. For example, the European Commission has accepted that the French State should pay aid of almost FRF 4 billion to Crédit Lyonnais in 1997, on the express condition that the bank reduce the number of branches by 20% and sell all its European subsidiaries. The aid was to be used only to save this heavily indebted bank and Crédit Lyonnais could not therefore use the subsidy to develop, quite the contrary.
- Similarly, it is important to avoid the creation of giant companies with exorbitant market power by exploiting the economies of scale allowed by the single market. The creation of such monopolies calls into question the very existence of consumer-friendly competition. A monopoly firm has a “market power” that allows it to offer lower quality goods and services, or to charge higher prices than in a situation of perfect competition. To avoid this, the European Union, through the Commission, controls mergers and acquisitions between companies, for example by authorising their merger subject to conditions (Air France and KLM have had to reduce their flight offers for certain routes) and prohibits cartels or cartels by producers. Abuses of dominance are also combated. For example, the Commission heavily condemned Microsoft for using its leading position on operating systems (with XP, Vista or Seven) to impose associated software such as Mediaplayer or Windows Messenger.
- Similarly, norms (of all kinds) are increasingly being decided at European level: these rules or designations are a means of standardizing the production standards of goods and services produced in Europe. Consumers therefore know that the products they buy in the EU are equivalent. Thus, in the food sector, there are virtually no national standards: for example, the designation “chocolate”, previously regulated differently in France than in other EU countries, now depends on European law. A whole set of European regulations has therefore been developed that frame the national regulations and impose themselves on them.
All these measures and agreements between trading partners in Europe aim to balance the Eurozone and allow a strong growth of companies such as RESIMARMO® and other firms, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, Medium-sized and large European companies.