How to do business in the EU
Exporting to the European Union (EU) or thinking about it? Learn how to make the most of opportunities available through the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and get access to resources that will smooth your path to this lucrative market.
Business opportunities in the EU
The EU is a large, dynamic market of 450 million consumers, that offers tremendous opportunities for Canadian businesses in a wide range of sectors.
Useful EU facts:
- world’s second-largest economy;
- Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States;
- largest importer of services and second-largest importer of goods;
- annual imports alone worth more than Canada’s GDP;
- more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else in the world;
- top services imports, include management, financial, ICT, architectural, engineering and other technical services.
How to use CETA to your advantage
The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is one of Canada’s most ambitious trade initiatives. The agreement has reduced and eliminated tariffs and set new standards in investment, government procurement, labour, and the environment.
Here are the top ways you can use CETA to your advantage:
- Price your products more competitively: With CETA, 98% of EU tariff lines are now duty-free for Canadian goods, and that number will increase to 99% once CETA is fully implemented. This gives you room to price your products competitively in the market.
- Ship your goods with confidence: CETA aims to reduce processing times at the border and to make moving goods cheaper, faster and more efficient. If you have a complaint, there’s an impartial system under CETA that will help you address it.
- Deal with barriers to trade: CETA promotes openness, transparency and cooperation to help prevent technical regulations from creating barriers to trade. CETA also creates a regulatory cooperation forum to reduce unnecessary regulatory differences before new regulations are drafted.
- Sell your services more easily: CETA gives Canadian services exporters the best market access the EU has ever granted to any of its free trade agreement partners. With a few exceptions, this puts you on equal footing with EU companies.
- Increase your market presence: Labour mobility provisions can make it easier for Canadian business people to travel to the EU to make contacts, connect with investors, bid on government contracts or work in the EU temporarily. This offers greater certainty when establishing branches in the EU, bidding on EU service contracts, or providing installation and maintenance services for goods sold in the EU market.
- Bid on contracts with EU governments: Under CETA, you can access procurement opportunities with local contracting authorities, bodies governed by public law, public utilities (gas, electricity, heat and water), and urban transit and railway authorities.
Learn about the benefits for businesses under CETA.
Prepare for the EU market
Are you export ready?
Take our quiz to see if your company is ready to start exporting to the EU.
Exporting to the EU – A guide for Canadian businesses
Read our guide on doing business in the EU, which includes market information and FAQ.
Exporting services to the European Union
Gain practical knowledge about exporting your services to the EU.
European Union government procurement guide for Canadian business
Read how to bid on opportunities in the $3.3-trillion EU government procurement market.
Get EU market support
Funding and support programs
Apply for financing, learn about funding programs and discover services to support your EU expansion plans.
Find a trade commissioner
Get expert advice and key contacts from trade commissioners located in over 160 cities worldwide.
Country and sector information
Research your EU target markets. Access up-to-date reports on markets and sectors worldwide.
- CETA articles and tools - EDC
- CETA in focus – EU Commission
- Doing business in the European Union - EDC
- Information on accessing the EU market – EU Commission
- Your guide to the EU market’s import rules and taxes – EU trade help desk
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