21 September will mark the first anniversary of the provisional entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. Early signs show that the agreement is already starting to deliver for EU exporters. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will visit Canada on 26 and 27 September to take stock of progress.
Commissioner Malmström said: “The EU-Canada trade agreement has now been in action for a year and I'm pleased with the progress made so far. The preliminary data shows there is plenty to celebrate, even at this stage. Exports are up overall and many sectors have seen impressive increases. This is great news for European businesses, big and small. As ever with these agreements, there are certain areas where we have to make sure that we thoroughly implement what has been agreed, making sure that citizens and companies can fully benefit from the new opportunities. This is something I intend to discuss with my Canadian counterparts at the Joint Committee next week. I'm happy to say that our partnership with Canada is stronger than ever – strategically as well as economically. Together, we are standing up for an open and rules-based international trading order. CETA is a clear demonstration of that.”
Early days but positive trends
In addition to removing virtually all customs duties, CETA has given a boost to the business climate between the EU and Canada, offering valuable legal certainty for EU companies looking to export. Although it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, the initial trade results are pointing in the right direction. Across the EU, the latest statistics available, covering the October 2017 to June 2018 period, suggest that exports are up by over 7% year on year.
Of these, certain sectors are doing especially well. Machinery and mechanical appliances, which make up one fifth of EU exports to Canada, are up by over 8%. Pharmaceuticals, which account for 10% of the EU exports to Canada and are up by 10%. Other important EU exports are also on the rise: furniture by 10%, perfumes/cosmetics by 11%, footwear by 8% and clothing by 11%.
In terms of agricultural products, there are also some encouraging figures: exports of fruit and nuts increased by 29%, chocolate by 34%, sparkling wine by 11% and whisky by 5%.
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