Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement
SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES
Article 14.1 General Principles
1. The Parties, recognising the fundamental role of SMEs in maintaining dynamism and enhancing competitiveness of the economies of the respective Parties, shall foster close cooperation between SMEs of the Parties and cooperation in promoting the growth of and job creation by SMEs.
2. The Parties recognise the key role of the private sector in carrying out cooperation activities under this Chapter.
Article 14.2: Information Sharing
1. Each Party shall establish or maintain its own publicly accessible website containing information regarding this Agreement, including:
- (a) the text of this Agreement, including all annexes, tariff schedules and product specific rules of origin;
- (b) a summary of this Agreement; and
- (c) information designed for SMEs that includes:
- (i) a description of the provisions in this Agreement that the Party considers to be of particular interest to SMEs; and
- (ii) any information that the Party considers useful for SMEs interested in the opportunities provided by this Agreement.
2. Each Party should include in the website referred to in paragraph 1 links to the:
- (a) equivalent website of the other Party; and
- (b) websites of its government agencies and other appropriate entities that provide information the Party considers useful to any person interested in trading or doing business in that Party’s territory.
3. The information described in paragraph 2(b) may include:
- (a) customs regulations, procedures and enquiry points;
- (b) regulations and procedures concerning intellectual property rights;
- (c) technical regulations, standards, conformity assessment procedures, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures relating to importation and exportation;
- (d) business registration procedures;
- (e) investment regulations;
- (f) trade promotion programs;
- (g) government procurement opportunities; and
- (h) SME financing programs.
4. When possible, each Party shall endeavour to make the information available in English.
5. Each Party should endeavour to ensure that the information and links on the website referred to in paragraph 1 are current and accurate.
Article 14.3: Committee on SMEs
1. The Parties hereby establish a Committee on SMEs (“the Committee”), composed of relevant representatives of each Party.
2. The Committee shall normally convene once a year or as decided by the Parties, in person or by any other technological means available, to consider any matter arising under this Chapter. The Committee shall:
- (a) identify ways to assist SMEs of the Parties to take advantage of the commercial opportunities under this Agreement;
- (b) exchange and discuss each Party’s experiences and best practices in supporting and assisting SME exporters with respect to, among other things, training programs, trade education, trade finance, identifying commercial partners in the other Party and establishing good business credentials;
- (c) review and coordinate the Committee’s work program with those of other committees, subcommittees, working groups and other bodies established under this Agreement, as well as those of other relevant international bodies, in order not to duplicate those work programs and to identify appropriate opportunities for cooperation to improve the ability of SMEs to engage in commercial opportunities provided by this Agreement;
- (d) discuss current issues relating to SMEs;
- (e) consider any other matter pertaining to SMEs as the Committee may decide, including any issues raised with a Party by SMEs regarding their ability to benefit from this Agreement;
- (f) exchange information to assist in monitoring the implementation of this Agreement as it relates to SMEs; and
- (g) report, and make recommendations as appropriate, to the Commission for its consideration on any matter related to this Chapter.
3. The Committee may:
- (a) develop and promote seminars, workshops and other activities to inform SMEs of the opportunities available to them under this Agreement as well as its provisions;
- (b) explore opportunities for capacity building to assist the Parties in developing and enhancing SME export counselling, assistance and training programs;
- (c) recommend additional information that a Party may include on the website referred to in Article 14.2.1;
- (d) in the performance of its duties, work with and encourage committees, subcommittees, working groups and other bodies established under this Agreement to integrate SME-related commitments, considerations and activities into their work; and
- (e) facilitate the development of programs to assist SMEs to participate and integrate effectively into global supply chains.
4. The Committee may seek to collaborate with SMEs, appropriate experts and international organisations in carrying out its programs and activities.
Article 14.4: Consultations
The Parties shall make all possible efforts, through dialogue, consultations and cooperation, to resolve any matter that may arise relating to this Chapter.
Article 14.5: Non-Application of Dispute Settlement
A Party shall not have recourse to dispute settlement under this Agreement for any matter arising under this Chapter.
Article 14.6: Definitions
For the purposes of this Chapter:
SME means a small and medium-sized enterprise, including a micro-sized enterprise.
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