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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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EU-Canada Economic and Trade Agreement comes into force

Created: 2017.09.21 / Updated: 2017.09.21 16:32

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.

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