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08. October 2018


Good start on CETA

Last year's abolition of virtually all tariffs has improved the business climate between Canada and the EU and led to significantly increased EU-Atlantic exports to Canada. Canada is Denmark's 13th largest trading partner, and Denmark’s total export to Canada amounts to 7.5 billion DKK.

Last week, European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström met Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification, James Gordon Carr in Montreal. The reason for the meeting was the mark of the anniversary of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) provisional entry into force. Although it is still too early to conclude the exact effects of the agreement, the meeting gave rise to discussing the so far positive implications of CETA's entry into force.

"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," says Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.

CETA's provisional entry into force has abolished almost all tariff barriers, which in particular benefits Danish small and medium-sized companies’ exports to Canada as well as the Danish agriculture and food sector. Furthermore, a larger amount of freight is transported between the continents, which benefit the shipping industry. According to the European Commission's preliminary estimates, EU’s total exports to Canada have risen by seven per cent in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year.

Mærsk Line welcomes the preliminary positive signs of the CETA agreement:

“It is good news that the trade agreement between the EU and Canada now appears to increase exports between the two parties. CETA undoubtedly facilitates the work of both European and Canadian exporters. Over recent years, we have seen increased trade between Canada and Europe, and as a consequence we have increased the capacity on our existing routes - and introduced a new route from Montreal to Europe," says Karsten Kildahl, Chief Executive, Europe Region, Maersk Line.

The significant increase in shipping operations in Canada is not solely due to the trade agreement, but it has an important significance, says Jacob K. Clasen, Executive Director, Danish Shipping.

"The agreement with Canada is a benchmark for future EU trade agreements. Looking at the ongoing conflicts between the United States and its international trading partners, the importance of agreements such as CETA is emphasized. Trade agreements generally have a positive impact on exports between countries. Therefore, it is important that the EU continues to push for the best trade agreements for European business," says Jacob K. Clasen

In addition to facilitating trade, CETA has secured improved market access for maritime activities in the form of access to dredging of sand, handling of empty containers and feeder activities between Halifax and Montréal.