Review of CEUTIA Canadian Private Sector CETA Stakeholder Forum - May 31st, 2022
06.06.2022


Ed Kalvins represented CanCham Latvia at the Private Sector CETA Stakeholder Forum on May 31st, 2022, organized by CEUTIA via tele-conferencing.

The objective of CEUTIA (Canada EU Trade and Investment Association) is to gather Canadian trade and industry associations and Canadian bilateral chambers in the European Union to exchange experiences on CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) ratification, implementation and promotion with a view to supporting private sector efforts, particularly those of Canadian bilateral chambers in the EU, to make the most of the opportunities presented by CETA.

This was the second such meeting. This meeting included representatives from France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK, and included Marie-France Paquet, Chief Economist – Global Affairs Canada and Reuben East, Counsellor (Trade & Economic Policy) at the Mission of Canada to the European Union. (Comment: Note that Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Finland were not represented, this making CanCham Latvia as the only regional representative.)

Updates were provided on

  • recent elections in EU member states and status of CETA ratification
  • CETA implementation
  • EU regulatory developments
    • Procurement instrument
    • Supply Chain Due Diligence

which was followed by a roundtable discussion on CETA promotional activities.

Besides “routine discussions”, some issues raised were particularly interesting:

  • The recent two-year COVID-19 period has been particularly difficult for Canadian chambers and business associations in Europe resulting in significant loses in members and revenues. (Comment: We are not alone.)
  • It was noted that the Canadian government spends significant funds on consultants to promote international trade, but does not allocate funds to Canadian chambers and business associations in Europe which have front-line experience and knowledge of local markets to assist with trade facilitation. This issue is to receive further attention and to be discussed with the appropriate Canadian government authorities.
  • It was generally felt that Canadian government’s policy reflected by its embassies of having an “arms-length” relationship with its chambers and business associations inhibits the effective use of these organizations in trade facilitation activities. This is a subject of further discussion.
  • There seems to be a lack of a “Canada brand” that promotes the sale of Canadian goods and services in the EU. This is a subject of further discussion.
  • Hungary organizes “Lobsterfests” by importing live lobsters from the Maritimes, an event that has been particularly well received. (Comment: This is a typically Canadian event that we should perhaps consider.)  
 

The CanCham will continue to actively participate in CEUTIA in order to promote Canada / Latvia trade relations.

For further information, please contact Ed Kalvins at ed.kalvins@cancham.lv.

Ed Kalvins,

Director, Business Development


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