Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt Monday said that Europe has talked too much about protection for different part of the economy and that is not conducive to European Union (EU) economy.
"In practice, we put in a lot of resources to protect different part of our economy and then we shouldn't be surprised if the other parts of the world would do the same. If we increase protection, they will also do so."
Reinfeldt made the remark at the European Trade Ministers' meeting in Stockholm which brought together trade ministers and representatives from 15 countries.
"The problem is who is the loser at the end of the trick, I am pretty sure that will be Europe because we do not have the increase in our population, we cannot only rely on our own demand, we need to have access to other markets and especially to those markets that are growing in other parts of the world, so the real beneficiary of free trade is Europe," Reinfeldt explained.
Reinfeldt said that in theory many political leaders are against trade protectionism, but if one talks with the entrepreneurs, one can feel that not only there is protectionism in Europe, even in Nordic countries, people already feel it is difficult to enter other markets, thus it is a concrete measure to deregulate different markets and improve mobility in Europe.
Reinfeldt also urged European countries to reform as soon as possible.
"Sweden had severe debt crisis 20 years ago. What we learnt is that once you start reforming, opening up your markets, meeting the competition, once you began to put your public finance into order, the market will react and the investment will come back more quickly than you think," Reinfeldt said.
The ministers and representatives are discussing how to implement the agenda of digitalize Europe and unify European Patent system as a way to form a European single market and facilitate trade within the European market.