Trade has never been more important for the European Union’s economy. In today’s difficult economic circumstances boosting trade is one of the few ways to bolster economic growth and create jobs without drawing on severely constrained public finances. In this context, DG Trade has continued to develop its unprecedented bilateral agenda. While less than a quarter of EU trade was covered by free trade agreements (FTAs) before 2006, concluding on-going negotiations would bring this figure up to half of our trade and we are now accelerating and deepening this agenda with opening of negotiations... for an agreement on a far bigger scale with Japan and the launch of talks for a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership agreement with the US. Completing this agenda would bring the coverage of our trade by FTAs to two thirds of EU external trade. This is by far the most ambitious trade agenda in the world today. At the same time negotiations continued with ACP partners on economic partnership agreements (EPAs). Most noteworthy the interim EPA with four countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) became the first African EPA to reach the implementation stage. From the enforcement point of view 2012 has been an intense year with many complex cases on removing trade barriers and tackling unfair trade. In dispute settlement, the EU has notably launched five new cases to tackle important trade barriers over the past two years compared to just six cases spread over the previous four years. Finally, it is worth mentioning the good progress on the modernisation of Trade Defence Instruments, where the legislative proposal and related documents should be ready for adoption by the Commission before the summer 2013. This report now sets out in more detail of the way in which trade policy has been working during 2012 to contribute to smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, while providing a robust platform for further work in 2013 to bolster further economic growth and job creation.