The European Union and Canada have signed a new free trade agreement which is forecast to boost EU GDP by €12 billion.
EU businesses will now be able to bid for all levels of Canadian public sector contracts, 99% of tariffs will be abolished and intellectual property rights will receive enhanced protection in the North American country.
The Canadian European Trade Agreement (CETA) will also liberalise the Canadian service sector for the 28 nation trading bloc’s businesses, creating significant opportunities for the financial services, telecommunications, energy and transport industries.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “I am delighted that we have managed to conclude negotiations on the EU-Canada free trade agreement. Both sides have worked extremely hard in the last few months to achieve the political break-through needed to ensure the positive outcome that will be beneficial for both economies,”
“It has been a real challenge to reach this agreement, and it’s a real first when it comes to a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between two mature economies” he added.
CETA represents the first free trade agreement signed between the EU and another G8 country. In 2012 Canada was ranked as Europe’s 12th largest export market, with sales of goods and services recorded at €48.1 billion. The Commonwealth member currently holds €140 billion in EU investments.
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