CETA: New Horizons and Market Access for Canadian Companies


On Tuesday 7th March 2017, the eve of International Women’s Day, the OWIT-Toronto chapter and guests were joined by H.E. Marie-Anne Coninsx, European Union Ambassador to Canada, and Leif Holmvall, trade expert and former Swedish Trade Commissioner for an interactive session on the European Union (EU)-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Partnership (CETA) and networking cocktail.

 

Seven years after negotiations were officially launched, CETA hit the headlines in October 2016, when Canada and the EU signed the historic agreement. In addition to the pillars of tariff reduction and market access which traditionally characterize international trade deals, CETA offers exporters and importers in Canada and across the EU a broader range of opportunities to increase trade and investment in both markets. A game-changer for future international trade agreements, CETA includes provisions designed to improve Canada-EU trade in services, customs cooperation, e-commerce,  government procurement and investment protection, to name only a few. With its market of over 500 million consumers, the EU offers attractive prospects to Canadian businesses wishing to explore opportunities for growth beyond the Canadian border, and CETA provides a long-awaited framework to facilitate export growth for Canadian entrepreneurs in all sectors.

 

Ambassador Coninsx shared insights on the negotiation process from the diplomatic frontlines, as well as expectations for the entry into force of the agreement, and how Canadian businesses and consumers can begin to explore new opportunities in the EU. With the rise of protectionism in the world, she emphasized the importance of remaining true to fundamental values of openness and trade since these are core values of both the EU and Canada.  The EU is the first trading partner for more than 80 countries in the world, she said, and Canada is a trading nation, committed to a progressive trade agenda globally. 

 

Leif Holmvall provided guests with a crash course in doing business in the EU, setting up distribution networks abroad, and the importance of understanding the unique business cultures across different EU member states.  

 

Participants enjoyed the opportunity to network both before and after the session. A special thank you to our distinguished guest speakers and our gracious hosts at Bennett Jones LLP.

 


If you would like to find out more about CETA, click here. If you would like to learn more about Leif Holmvall’s export and import expertise and access helpful resources, click here.





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