What does CETA mean for Trade ?

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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, The Embassy of Canada and the Finnish-Canadian Business Club organized the CETA Business Seminar on Tuesday 29th November 2016.

CETA will be the most modern trade agreement so far.

The main benefits which businesses will gain through the CETA will be lower tariffs and customs fees. The EU tariff lines will become duty free due to the CETA agreement.

CETA trade agreement will not only be beneficial for the large companies but also for the SME’s as SMEs can import goods with much lower prices.

According to the EU the following things can be gained from free trade agreements: growth generation and jobs, lower prices, having greater choice of consumers, get an access to public contracts and innovation is more protected.

In addition to this CETA companies can avoid  double testing.  This will give  companies a free access to the EU or the Canadian side. CETA will also give a high level of protection of investments.

When it comes to trade agreements everybody usually focuses only on exporting. However importation of products and services is equally important; making things better for consumers since they will have more purchasing power.

Importing is also positive and should not be forgotten. After the Korea free trade agreement came into force Finland’s exports has increased by 30 %.

Canada offers a market with 500 million consumers

The Canadian economy has stayed fairly flat and stable in the past few years. Canada has 3.5 million business and most of those are companies of one employee.
1.1 million of the Canadian businesses are paying salaries to employees. SME’s cover quarter of the exports of Canada.

All political parties support trade agreements in Canada. However labor unions remain opposed. The main concerns now are the increasing protectionism in different countries.

If TTIP will not come true Canada can be the access to North-American markets. By entering to the North-American markets businesses can have the market of over 500 million consumers – almost as large as the EU market.

Challenges Canadian business face are that the value of the Canadian dollar is dropping fast, cost of shipping, high tariffs and duties and trade complexity paper work. Also Canada is still heavily dependent on the US market.

Finland – Canada – potential to increase business

Finland and Canada have a good start point for trade relations. Canada and Finland have various similarities for example arctic climate, both have lots of forests and snow know-how. These are good start for a collaboration and finding business partners. Therefore there are plenty of potential of increasing trade and services between Finland and Canada. This means big opportunities for both sides. Especially beneficial for Finnish businesses is that the Canadian procurement market will come available for the Finnish businesses when CETA comes into force. The trade between Finland and Canada is now worth of 1 billion US dollars.

Tips for companies regarding the CETA is to start follow the public procurement announcements. For small business: use associations and trade organizations, government partners and understand the opportunities.

More information about the CETA agreement from these websites:
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/
http://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/campaign-campagne/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng

Read more about The Finnish-Canadian Business Club here.