When I was invited to the two-hour “The Canada-EU Trade Deal: Impact on Your Business” Seminar, I decided to go, just to see what is happening with CETA. I heard my first mention of CETA in 2010 and always wondered what the delay was. Recently, the new General Consul to Germany, Josef Beck, explained to me how the 1500 page ceta document has to be translated into the 28 official languages, which can take 6-months or longer. I have to admit, I did not really take all the translation work into account. I just assumed the document would be in English. The Consolidated CETA Text can be found here: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/text-texte/toc-tdm.aspx?lang=eng
The moderator of the seminar was Mr. Luc Luwel, from the Association of Belgian Chambers of Commerce. He began the day by introducing Ms. Christine Hogan,Canada’s Federal Deputy Minister of International Trade, who was the first to speak. Then the Honourable e. Marie-Anne Conns, the European Ambassador to Canada from Ottawa had a turn. All speeches took place in the “Vancouver Island Room” on the conference floor at the Fairmount Hotel Vancouver on Georgia Street. Once the main speeches were done, the Panel was set up.
The Panel consisted of Mr. Bart Van Vooren, an Attorney in Brussels/Belgium, Mr. Piet Vanthemsche, the President of the Belgian Farmer’s Union. Then, Mr. Celso Bascariol, President of the EU Chamber of Commerce in Canada-West, as well as an Attorney for Watson & Goepel LLP in Vancouver spoke. We also heard from Mrl Jayson Myers, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. Finally, Mr. Valere Vangeel, the Belgian Federal Ministery of Economy, SME’s, Self-Employed & Energy, was asked to present the closing statements.
The panel members each received a turn to talk, then we had a question and answer session. My question was “Now that Trudeau has been elected, what does he say to CETA?” The response was that they felt he supported CETA and that he hasn’t changed his mind since he first expressed his thoughts. The aim of the seminar was to provide insight into how the CETA agreement could influence your business and how you should prepare for this now!
Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement was created due to the fact that “Canada’s historical and cultural ties with the EU make it an ideal partner for an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement. In fact, the EU is already our second-largest trade and investment partner, next only to the United States. The EU, with its 28 member states, 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $18 trillion (see Table 1), is the world’s largest economy, bigger than the United States (see Table 2). CETA will eliminate tariffs for Canadian goods entering the EU market, providing them preferential access not enjoyed by our competitors in other countries, which still face tariffs. CETA will also guarantee Canadian service suppliers secure preferential market access. These improvements to our trading relationship with the EU will give Canadian businesses—from farms to engineering consultancies—new opportunities to increase their exports of world-class goods, services and expertise.” A lot more information can be found here: http://international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/understanding-comprendre/overview-apercu.aspx?lang=eng
Seminar ‘The Agro-Food sector in Belgium: Together Strong in Quality & Innovation’
Tuesday October 27, 9:30am-11:30:
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver Island Room, Conference Floor
900 Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2W6
Register by sending an email to: BelgianAgroFoodSeminar@shaw.ca