- 2018-07-11 to 2018-07-18 On 11-18 July, the Vice-Minister Darius Skusevičius is visiting Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).
- 2018-07-19 On 19 July at 4:00 p.m., the Minister Linas Linkevičius is participating in an event dedicated to commemorate the anniversary of the Sumner Welles Declaration in Washington Square in Vilnius.
- 2018-07-20 On 20 July, the Vice-Minister Albinas Zananavičius is participating in the General Affairs Council (Article 50) in Brussels.
EU-Canada Economic and Trade Agreement comes into force
On 21 September 2017 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada entered into force provisionally. It is one of the most ambitious EU free trade agreements that will open the Canadian market with its population of 35 million to Lithuanian exporters.
Upon the provisional enforcement of the Agreement, 98 per cent of Canadian import duties will be removed. The Agreement is intends to extensively open the Canadian public procurement and service markets.
“Canada is Lithuania’s strategic partner; therefore we appreciate an opportunity to deepen our relations in an economic field, too. Lithuanian companies willing to expand their exports to Canada on more favourable conditions will benefit from a considerable improvement of trade environment. The Lithuanian economy is particularly open and dependent on export. About 230,000 jobs in Lithuania rely on trade outside the EU. That is why Lithuania is keen on new markets being opened,” Vice-Minister Zananavičius noted.
Textiles, electronic and optical products, furniture, food, and beverages are the most promising sectors of export to Canada. It is for those sectors that the Agreement stipulates particularly significant improvements of trade conditions, i.e. exports of the majority of processed food products currently bearing 10-25 per cent of import duty will be duty-free.
Lithuanian exports to Canada amounted to EUR 62 million in 2016. There are about 150 Lithuanian companies exporting mineral fuel, fertilisers, furniture, mechanical equipment, fishing nets, sports equipment, and textile goods to Canada now.
The Agreement also provides public health, food safety, consumer and employment protection, and other standards. The EU standards will continue to apply; in case Canadian products do not comply with the EU standards, they cannot enter the EU market.
After seven years of talks, on 30 October 2016, the European Union and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement to be provisionally applied on 21 September 2017. In order for CETA to be fully enforced, it must be ratified by the National Parliaments of the EU states.
On 4 July, Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, in Vilnius to discuss the main Lithuanian interests in Brexit negotiations – Lithuanian citizens residing, working and studying in the United Kingdom should retain their rights and social guarantees, and the principles unifying the EU should stay in place. Lithuanian priorities in future EU-UK relations were discussed too.
On 7 June, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius welcomed the participants of the informal meeting of the Club of Venice uniting top-level public relations officials and communications experts of the European Union Member States and institutions, which started in Vilnius.
On 28 May, Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, took part in a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels. The foreign ministers of the EU Member States discussed Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela related matters, the situation in Gaza and a document to be designed as a substitute for the Cotonou Agreement.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, attended the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July 2017 to take part in a debate on the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy, on North Korea, Libya, and migration.