Canada-European Union Trade Agreement
At the June 2007 Summit, Canada and the EU agreed to undertake jointly a study to assess the costs and benefits of a closer economic partnership. The Joint Study, published in October 2008, demonstrated potential gains for both Canada and the EU from the liberalization of their bilateral trade. At their October 2008 Summit, the EU and Canada agreed to work together to define the scope of a deepened economic agreement and to identify the factors that would be crucial to the success of any negotiations.
A Joint Report on the EU-Canada Scoping Exercise was finalised in February 2009, which set out the areas to be covered by the negotiations. Finally, at the EU-Canada Summit in Prague on 6th May 2009, the launch of negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was announced.
The first round of negotiations was held in October 2009 in Ottawa and subsequent rounds have taken place every three months, alternately in Ottawa and in Brussels. Seven rounds have taken place so far. The last one took place in October 2011 in Brussels. Both sides want an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that goes far beyond WTO commitments with a maximum degree of liberalization of trade in goods and services.
The Canadian provinces and territories are directly concerned by some areas of negotiation touching their competence, such as procurement and certain aspects of services and investment. Their commitment to implement provisions negotiated in any final agreement within their jurisdiction is an essential condition for the success of these negotiations.
Both Parties aim at concluding negotiations expeditiously, with an agreement in principle in the coming months.
Trading with the EU
Canada and the EU have a long history of economic cooperation. Composed of 27 Member States with a total population of over 500 million and a GDP of nearly $16.8 trillion in 2010, the EU is the world’s largest single common market, foreign investor and trader. As an integrated block, the EU represents Canada’s second largest trading partner in goods and services. In 2010, Canadian goods and services exports to the EU totalled $49.1 billion, and imports from the EU amounted to $55.2 billion.
According to Statistics Canada, the EU is also the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada, with the stock of FDI amounting to $148.7 billion at the end of 2010. In 2010, the stock of Canada’s direct investment in the EU totalled $145.7 billion, and the EU is the destination of 23.6% of Canadian direct investment abroad. According to Eurostat, the EU identified Canada as its third largest destination and its fourth largest source of FDI in 2009. Bilateral economic relations with the EU are very important to Canada, and this economic relationship is a high priority for the Government of Canada.