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Release: BC Business Leaders Welcome Canada-EU Agreement

October 18, 2013 (Vancouver, BC) –The Business Council of British Columbia today offered strong support for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that Canada has concluded with the European Union.

“After four years of negotiations, we are pleased that Canada has reached this milestone agreement-in-principle with our European partners,” stated Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia.  “CETA is good news for BC consumers and our economy, and adds momentum for Canada in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership talks that when concluded will form an important part of securing opportunity for BC and Canada in the growing Asian economy.”

“This has been a long and at times delicate negotiation. We particularly want to acknowledge the efforts of International Trade Minister Ed Fast in helping to get the talks over the finish line,” said D'Avignon.

“With CETA, Canada stands to benefit from better access to the huge 28-country EU market – a market of more than 500 million consumers and with a combined gross domestic product exceeding $17 trillion,” stated Jock Finlayson, Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia.  “The EU is already Canada’s second biggest trading partner, our merchandise exports to Europe have doubled since 2003, and the additional export gains that CETA will advance the long-term goal of diversifying Canada’s trading relationships beyond North America.”

CETA will phase out EU tariffs on a wide range of Canadian and BC products – processed food, wood products, fish and seafood, aerospace products, machinery and equipment, metals and ores, and most agricultural products.   In exchange, Canada will eliminate its own tariffs on most product categories and reduce other barriers to EU agricultural exports, both of these steps will be positive for British Columbia consumers.

“Canada will also benefit from stronger investment rules embodied in CETA, and from greater ease of business travel between Canada and the EU,” said D’Avignon.  “Currently, cumulative EU direct foreign investment in Canada amounts to $165 billion, while Canadian companies have invested some $175 billion in EU countries.”

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 47th year as the premier business organization in BC, represents 260 leading companies and enterprises in every key sector of the economy. Our membership, found throughout every region of BC, represents 25 percent of all jobs in the province.


Media Contact

Cheryl Muir
Business Council of British Columbia