Canada has been a vital trading partner for the European Union for a long time. Almost a quarter of Canadian investment abroad is in the EU, and equally almost a quarter of foreign investment in Canada comes from the EU. The EU and Canada concluded a Framework agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation, in 1976.

The decision to launch negotiations on a EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement was taken at the EU-Canada summit, on 6 May 2009, in Prague. The European Services Forum has closely monitored these negotiations since then. From our point of view, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Canada concluded with Mexico and the USA, in 1994, should serve as an example for the agreement to be achieved between the EU and Canada.

The Canada-EU summit on 26 September 2014 in Ottawa marked the end of the negotiations of the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA). The agreement will remove over 99% of tariffs between the two economies and create sizeable new market access opportunities in services and investment.

The text of the agreement will now undergo a legal scrubbing followed by a translation into all official languages of the EU. At a later stage, the agreement will need to be approved by the Council and the European Parliament.

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