October 2, 2012 - Ottawa, Ontario - The Honourable Ed Fast (seated, fifth from left), Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, accompanied by Steve Verheul (seated, fourth from left), Canada’s Chief Trade Negotiator (Canada-European Union), meets with diplomatic representatives from European Union countries, including Matthias Brinkmann (seated, fifth from right), Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Canada, to discuss negotiations toward a Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA). Minister Fast stressed that an agreement holds great potential for both Canada and the EU. He added that opening new markets in Europe and increasing Canadian exports will benefit workers and businesses in every region of Canada and will help European companies tap into the growing Canadian and broader North American markets.
A joint Canada-EU study found that an ambitious trade agreement with the EU would benefit workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, by boosting the bilateral trade in goods and services by 20 percent. According to the same study, the agreement would also increase Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually. That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income, or 80,000 new jobs across the country.
The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner; bilateral trade in goods and services totalled $116.7 billion in 2011. With more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion, the EU is the world’s largest integrated economy. The ongoing trade negotiations with the EU represent Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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