Brussels, 19 May 2005
EU and Canada launch negotiations on a Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement
Negotiations on a Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA) between Canada and the European Union were launched on 17-18 May 2005 in Brussels. Agreed by leaders in outline at the 2002 EU-Canada Summit, the TIEA will represent a new type of bilateral trade agreement, focusing on the main challenges of the EU-Canada bilateral trade relationship, namely the growing importance of regulatory barriers and the significant role of two-way investment in the transatlantic relationship.
European and Canadian leaders agreed at the December 2002 EU-Canada Summit to launch negotiations for a Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement. This Agreement represents an ambitious and forward-looking initiative, aimed at creating new opportunities to broaden and deepen the trade and investment relationship between the EU and Canada. The TIEA will, in particular, address a broad scope of topical areas for our bilateral relationship.
The following issues were addressed in detail during the first round of negotiations: (i) services, including domestic regulation, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, temporary entry, financial services and e-commerce, (ii) government procurement, (iii) trade facilitation, (iv) investment and (v) intellectual property. Regulatory cooperation - an equally important key area for the strengthening of EU-Canada Trade relations - was the subject of parallel discussions within the first meeting of the EC-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Committee, as agreed last year under the Voluntary Framework on Regulatory Cooperation with Canada.
It is expected that two to three negotiating rounds will be held per year, alternating between Canada and the EU. The next round has been tentatively scheduled for the end of September in Ottawa (Canada).
Bilateral economic relations are characterised by strong and increasing trade and investment flows. The EU is Canada’s second trade partner after the US (12% of total Canadian imports and 4.8% of total Canadian exports), while Canada holds a stable position in the top-10 of main EU trading partners over the years, ranking 9th most important partner for the EU. Investment has become the most significant element of the EU-Canada economic relationship: Canada is the fourth investor in the EU after the US, Switzerland and Japan (holding 4% of EU inward stock in 2002); the EU is the second investor in Canada (holding close to 25% FDI stock in Canada).