Today, the EU and Canada highlighted the positive impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in helping to minimise the economic impact of COVID-19. CETA is a central pillar of the political, trade and economic partnership between the EU and Canada. The EU and Canada share a values-based partnership, and our geopolitical views align in a wide range of policy areas. Canada is an indispensable partner to address global challenges such as economic recovery, WTO reform, investment governance, climate change, ocean governance and so on. The second CETA Joint Committee meeting was co-chaired by Executive Vice-President and EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng.
CETA is a recent agreement but it has already delivered many positive results. It provides us with a strong platform to help our economies grow and recover from COVID-19, as well as a cooperation platform to address the many and diverse global challenges.
EU-Canada trade had increased by 25% compared to pre-CETA figures, until the start of the pandemic. Even when taking into account the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on international trade, EU-Canada trade flows were still 15% higher in 2020 than before CETA’s provisional entry into force.
CETA is also helping to improve regulatory cooperation and a commitment to facilitate cross-border flows of services with a focus on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The co-chairs emphasised the importance of CETA as the cornerstone of a strong relationship between like-minded partners that stretches beyond bilateral trade and into action at multilateral level. They pointed to positive developments achieved under CETA, including the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters and the three recommendations adopted addressing trade and climate, trade and gender, and trade and SMEs.
Furthermore, co-chairs noted progress towards developing a new Canada-EU Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials intended to reduce supply chains risks and foster competitive Canada-EU value chains that depend on minerals and metals raw material inputs. Both sides showed their support for the work of the Ottawa Group on WTO reform, welcoming in particular progress on the Trade and Health initiative.
CETA and SMEs
Both parties agreed to intensify efforts to ensure that all companies, big and small, are able to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by CETA. They paid special attention to helping SMEs exploit the preferences given by the Agreement, endorsed the CETA SME Action Plan for 2020-2021 to empower businesses to unlock the opportunities offered by CETA, and announced that a dedicated EU-Canada event devoted to SMEs would be organised to celebrate CETA’s fourth anniversary in September 2021.
The next meeting of the CETA Joint Committee will be held in Canada in 2022.
For more information
Joint Statement (25 March 2021)
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
EU-Canada trade relations
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