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Who we are

EU Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West is a non-profit, membership-based organization incorporated in November 2013 under the Society Act of BC.

Its start-up is funded by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West with a goal of becoming self sustaining bilateral trade organization based on the income from business services, corporate membership as well as from the project based private and public funding. Its six founding directors are Canadian citizens originally from Germany, Italy, UK, Croatia, Poland and France.

Mission Statement

  • To facilitate trade and investments between EU and Canada with a special focus on Western Canada.
  • To increase public awareness of CETA and to support & promote the EU-Canada trade in Western Canada
  • To complement activities of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto
  • To liaison with EU and Canadian Diplomatic Posts and government agencies and all strategic partners from public and private sectors operating in Canada and all EU member states

 Rationale:

The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion. The Comprehensive and Economic Agreement (CETA) represents Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the much debated and divisive North American Free Trade Agreement.

Western Canada is under-represented in the trade dynamic with the EU, particularly regarding small and medium sized companies. Whereas large corporations can marshal considerable resources to facilitate internationalization, SMEs often underestimate their potential to be successful internationally, to become a “micro-multinational” in effect, because they lack knowledge of foreign markets and because of perceived obstacles. Among these perceived obstacles are difficulties in identifying market opportunities and entry strategies, choosing reliable foreign partners, accessing financing, overcoming trade barriers, and complying with security and authentication requirements.

While the West historically and naturally looks towards Asia as its most important secondary trade partner, with the signing of CETA, bilateral opportunities will flourish and SMEs in Western Canada need to position themselves in order to capitalize upon those opportunities.

Over the past two decades in Vancouver, most of the trade and business associations dealing primarily with single member states have closed their doors, gone dormant or moved elsewhere. Yet now, as never before, the presence of an organization facilitating trade and investment with the European Union would be required to assist companies in Canada and the EU capitalize on the market liberalization that CETA will bring.

Services

We act as a service-centre for providing information, business contacts, organizing trade & investment missions to Fairs and Conventions and generally acting as a catalyst between economic operators in Western Canada and in the EU.

We provide business tools, support and assistance for:

  • Canadian companies looking to expand their businesses in the EU
  • EU companies interested in doing business in Western Canada in order for them to take advantage of the market liberalization foreseen under CETA.

We draw our members from Canadian companies interested in doing business in the EU as well as EU businesses present in Western Canada. As a membership-based organization we offer our business services to members at discounted prices.

Activities and Goals

We focus on activities within industry sectors prominent in Western Canada:

  • High Tech (ICT, Clean Tech, Digital Media, Film, Life Sciences)
  • Aerospace
  • Agrifoods
  • Energy & Environment
  • Forest Products
  • Natural resources
  • Construction & Development
  • Innovation/R&D
  • Tourism
  • Investments

Our main upcoming activities:

  • Acquiring Support of Strategic Institutional Partners
  • Acquiring Support from private sector – Membership recruitment
  • Outreach strategies:
  • Creating dedicated website as a reference point for all activities.
  • Setting up the Go Europe and Go Canada help desks to answer enquiries about doing business in the EU and in Canada.
  • Bi-monthly electronic Newsletter regarding EU-Canada relations, a business opportunities, public tenders, upcoming trade missions
  • Creating an Online Business/Social Media Platform connecting Western Canadian and European companies through a dedicated closed LinkedIn business group and other online business tools.
  • Country presentation series – “Doing Business With…” to promote business & investment opportunities in each individual EU member state.
  • Setting up Go Europe and Go Canada help desks to answer telephone and email enquiries about doing business in the EU and in Canada.
  • Organization of Business Forums, with the goal of bringing together Canadian and European SMEs in a specific sector to discuss the state of the industry and developments following CETA.
  • Organization of pan-Western Canadian Trade Missions to selected Trade shows in Europe.

Strategic Partners:

Canadian partners:

  • Export Development Canada
  • DFAIT
  • European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto
  • CME/ Canada Enterprise Network
  • Provincial Governments
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Trade associations

European partners:

  • EU Delegation to Canada and European Countries’ Diplomatic Posts in Canada
  • Canadian Embassies in EU member states
  • Chambers of Commerce in EU member states
  • Europe Enterprise Network
  • Eurochambres
  • Trade Associations in Europe

 

 

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Facilitating trade and investment

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Increasing public awareness of CETA

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Promoting EU Canada trade in Western Canada

Latest News

Consolidated text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement officially released

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calendarFriday, 03 October

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Consolidated text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was officially released on Friday, September 26th during the EU-Canada Summit in Ottawa. A 1634-page document was released publicly after almost five years of negotiations between Canada and the European Union (EU). The declaration marking the end of negotiations was signed on Friday by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council  and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

The text was released to Canadian and European government officials in August 2014 and now it is waiting for its ratification in 28 EU member states’ national parliaments. The process of ratification is expected to take from 12 to 24 months.

Quick facts about CETA for Canadian businesses:

Canada’s most ambitious cross-trade deal, even more than the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It will eliminate tariffs and opens new business development and market access opportunities for Canadian businesses – SMEs especially.

It will provide Canadian companies access to all 28 EU markets.

It will include government procurement opportunities for Canadian and European companies.

It will allow for investment in Canada from European companies. The EU is currently the second-largest investor in Canada – more than $171-billion in 2012, representing over 24% of total foreign investment in this country. Canada is the fourth-largest investor in the EU – almost $181-billion in 2012, representing over 28% of Canadian direct investment abroad.

It will boost bilateral trade by 23% and create jobs in virtually every sector of the Canadian economy.

It will translate into a $12 billion, or a 0.8% annual increase in Canadian GDP (estimates by the Canadian Ministry for Foreign Affairs).

It will allow for mutual recognition of some professional certifications.

Fewer visa restrictions will enable Canadian enterprises to move professional labor between the EU and Canada.

Full consolidated CETA text:

http://ow.ly/C0lKy

Related articles on CETA:

http://ow.ly/CgyXl

http://ow.ly/CgxDr

http://ow.ly/Cgzcy

http://ow.ly/CgxL9

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CETA update from the Italian and European Chambers of Commerce, September 2014

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calendarTuesday, 02 September

Canada-EU

Eleven months after the signature of an agreement-in-principle between Canada and the European Union (EU), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement’s (CETA) final details will be released on September 25th in Ottawa during the Canada – EU summit, according to the last CETA press release on August 5th. German news broadcaster ARD posted recently a 519-page “leaked” document issued by the EU revealing first details of the so long-awaited trade deal. Canada expects the final document to be approximately 1,500 pages long. Despite its public release scheduled for the end of September 2014, it is likely to take another two years for the agreement to come into effect.

The initial negotiations starting approximately five years ago have caused many intense debates on both sides of the deal and despite of some criticism the agreement has been signed. CETA offers new opportunities not only for manufacturers and services providers but also consumer thanks to a tariff elimination and quota reduction. CETA opens doors to a 500-million European consumers market for Canadian businesses. These will also have access to procurement markets on EU and state levels. The deal is expected to bring more investments from EU to Canada as well, therefore creating more business and job opportunities.

CETA is often described as a historical moment for international trade in Canada as it potentially opens more opportunities than NAFTA did and it allows Canadian economy to be more diversified and less reliant on its main trading partner, the U.S.

Both, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada-West (ICCC) and the recently established European Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West (ECCC), encourage Canadian companies to start positioning themselves in strategic places that will permit them to take advantage of wide-ranging new business opportunities arising from CETA.

Stay tuned for upcoming CETA related events and EU-Canada business development assistance and trade initiatives organized or coordinated by ICCC and ECCC in Western Canada and Europe.

Useful links:

EU free trade deal is Harper’s legacy http://ow.ly/AQfeH

Canada – EU trade deal text leaked ahead of fall summit http://ow.ly/AQelk

Canada, EU agree on ‘historic’ free-trade pact – but there’s still more work ahead http://ow.ly/AQeHZ

Canada, EU reach major step toward finalizing free-trade deal http://ow.ly/AQePD

Deal or no deal? EU-Canada trade deal falters at final hurdle

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calendarWednesday, 11 June

 

G7 2014

 

Canada-EU free trade pact legal text coming soon, says minister Ed Fast

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calendarTuesday, 04 March

Widen your palate to European cheeses and end protectionism, EU envoy urges Canada

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calendarTuesday, 25 February

EU Ambassadors/ Heads of Mission on official visit to Ontario

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calendarFriday, 07 February

EU ambassador: finishing CETA technical negotiations ‘a question of weeks’

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calendarTuesday, 04 February

Canada tar sands set to benefit from EU 2030 climate plan

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calendarThursday, 30 January

Promoting cooperation between European and Canadian researchers

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calendarTuesday, 28 January

Plastics exporters to benefit from EU-Canada trade deal

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calendarFriday, 06 December

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405-889 West Pender St, Vancouver BC, V6C 3B2