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Follow up of the Canada Round Table: Discussion on Bilateral Business and Economic Opportunities

16.02.2017 10:24

International affairs

S.E Olivier Nicoloff, ambassador of Canada, intervening during the Canada Round Table

The Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in close cooperation with CanCham Belux, organized a roundtable discussion on bilateral business and economic opportunities on Tuesday February 14, 2017 from 10h30-12h30. The event took place at the premises of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and was followed by a networking lunch.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the opportunities that CETA offers for Luxembourg companies as well as giving the possibilities to Luxembourg companies to meet the new Ambassador of Canada to Luxembourg and Belgium, H.E. Olivier Nicoloff.

During the roundtable, Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, briefly underlined in his opening remarks that Luxembourg’s economic policies reflect its intrinsic interests to look beyond the rather narrow frame of the country’s geographical borders. Indeed, together with the Government, Luxembourg has longstanding experience in sharing his unique set of core advantages with international companies and investors.  This is also true as far as relations of Luxembourg with Canada are concerned.

Both, Mr. Ian Cresswell, Head of International Affairs, Luxinnovation and Mr. Sascha Bremer, Market Intelligence Advisor, Luxembourg for Finance introduced in their presentations the different Key business sectors as well as the Luxembourg Cluster Initiative.

In this fast changing world and also given current geo-political challenges, international trade relations, especially CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, between Canada and the EU, are again and again put into questions.

Therefore, this well visited roundtable constituted a dynamic platform for discussing this new momentum provided by the CETA agreement.

The focus was given on what this Treaty can bring companies on a daily business. Thus, H.E. Ambassador H.E. Olivier Nicoloff and Mr. Jeannot Erpelding underlined that CETA allows not only virtually all manufactured goods to be exported duty-free but also reduces processing times at the border and making the movement of goods cheaper, faster, more predictable and efficient.  Another positive result, which was highlighted, is the outcome on the protection of the designations of the high quality agriculture products of the EU, through the legal protection of geographical indications.

Thus, the dictum of this roundtable was very clear: The CETA free trade agreement will induce benefits not only for our countries but also for their companies. No one can achieve growth by themselves, everyone needs partners and everyone need trade. Therefore, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce congratulates the European Parliament for approving CETA on the 15th of February 2017, one day after the roundtable took place. This parliamentary vote concludes the ratification process of this Treaty at the EU level. In consequence, the provisions related to exclusive EU competences, such as those relating to market access (customs duties, etc.), will enter into force provisionally, once both, Canada and the EU, have notified that they completed all necessary internal procedures. The final ‘provisional application’ of this deal is expected to come into force on 1 April 2017 at earliest.

The main exclusions from this provisional application are: investment protection; investment market access for portfolio investment (except for market access for foreign direct investment, being exclusive EU competences) and the Investment Court System.

Subsequently, once all national and regional parliaments of the EU member states ratify this deal, according to their respective domestic constitutional requirements, CETA will come fully into force.