December 17, 2018 - For the European Commission, the verdict is clear: the EU-Canada free trade agreement has been a success well before entering its second year this past fall.
When the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed in late September 2017, the EU Commission predicted that the liberalization of trade in goods and services would lead to “an annual increase in bilateral exports and imports between the EU and Canada of at least eight per cent, amounting to 12 billion euros (C$18.3 billion) per year of additional two-way trade by 2030, split roughly evenly between the two parties.”
In a recent assessment, the European Commission stated: “Early signs show that the agreement is already starting to deliver for EU exporters.”
European products that have significantly boosted their presence on the Canadian market range from machinery to pharmaceuticals, furniture and various agricultural goods.
The Commission pointed out: “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, statistics covering the October 2017 to June 2018 period, suggested 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%.
Companies that are already benefitting from CETA in different ways for example include: The consortium of Italian San Daniele ham producers increased its sales to Canada by 35%. Exports of Italian agricultural products to Canada are up by 7.4% overall. Belgian chocolate company Smet Chocolaterie that has just opened their first shop in Ontario, Canada, to cope with extra demand for their products; thanks to scrapping of 15% import duties their sales increased by a fifth compared to year ago. European exports of chocolate to Canada are up 34% overall.
Spanish company Hiperbaric making innovative machines for preserving food using high pressure. Thanks to CETA, it is easier for their workers to enter Canada temporarily to install and maintain their equipment.
Source: American Journal of Transportation