Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Impact of Intermodal Connectivity of Transport Networks on Net Exports in the European Union Member States

Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Impact of Intermodal Connectivity of Transport Networks on Net Exports in the European Union Member States

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1.Introduction

The net export (balance of trade) is an index that shows an economic relevance on both its sides, as trade surplus and a trade deficit. As a trade surplus, the net export represents one of the main economic growth "engines", seen as an essential contributor for the current account and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) creation, fact that explains the pro-export measures and strategies adopted by all governments. The trade surplus volume in the European Union has grown 3.7 times between 2007 and 2016, and this trade explosion has determined a significant pressure on the transportation network that sustains the goods and services stock. But the national net exports geography is highly unequal in the European space. Given the fact that the capital investments in many of the European states have a limited level (Bellak et al., 2010, p.38), exports stimulation and the transition from a trade deficit to a surplus remains a desideratum to ensure the economic growth for more than half of the European governments.

Along with other international trade determinants, the endowment with reliable transportation infrastructures is a critical advantage for stimulating the commercial flows (Copenhagen Economics and Blomström, 2006, p. 18). The appropriate equipping with transportation infrastructures as a development and territorial cohesion vector represents, as a matter of fact, a major objective of the European Transportation Policy (European Commission, 2013), but in the meanwhile it represents a variable depending on the investment capacity and the decisional will of national governments. The positive consequences of a good territorial equipping with transportation infrastructures on the net exports improvement are the elements broadly acknowledged in the real economy, but also in the scientific literature, which focuses its attention on the interrelations between the two measures.

According to the latest scientific studies' tendencies, the aim of this paper is to assess the impact of the transportation infrastructure intermodal connectivity on the national net exports in the European Union space. In this context we are not going to approach the transportation networks in their function as material infrastructures linked to production, as they are treated in the industrial economy studies (Gramlich, 1994, p. 1178), but from the perspective of their interconnection and accessibility agents, a quality which they offer to the commercial flow run.

The intermodal connectivity is given by the existence of network nodes where transportation lines belonging to different types of infrastructures (road, railway, airway, fluvial, maritime) meet. For every network type we will consider the following infrastructural elements: the highway network, the high speed railway network (that allow over 200 kph running speeds), national airports and maritime and fluvial harbours.

The approached paradigm postulates that the national policies in the transportation fields whose consequences are the development of intermodal connections will have effects in the net exports volume growth, which are also influenced by the degree of integration of national economies into the global economy.

The results of this undertaking highlight the relation between the inter-connective infrastructures and the net exports volume. In the European Union the accents put differently on the connection infrastructure development have a correspondent in the net exports value differences on the European Union's economic map, even though the commercial balance improvement is a declared aim of all the European governments. Also, the increased integration into the global economy catalyzes net exports, but at a more reduced pace and magnitude than the intermodal transport infrastructures.

The paper is structured as follows: first section introduces the scientific knowledge and the theoretical accumulation in the field of transportation infrastructure impact on trade; the second section depicts the various data categories used to quantify the net exports and the intermodal connection infrastructures and also the methodological tools used for the impact analysis; section three displays the research results and in the end one can find the conclusion. …

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