CETA: Creating New Opportunities for Your Business in 2017

On 30 October 2016, the European Union and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (the CETA).

The CETA, which is expected to enter into force shortly, will remove tariffs on most goods exchanged between Canada and the EU Member States, with the exception of a few agricultural products.

More generally, it will facilitate trade of both goods and services and will create important new market opportunities in several sectors, such as financial services, telecommunications, energy and maritime transport. The agreement will also protect investment of Canadian companies in the EU, and of European companies in Canada. Upon its full entry into force, it will replace the few existing BITs between Canada and a handful of European States, thus covering a larger number of investments. On the other hand, the CETA provides for a more balanced protection of investments, compared to the majority of BITs between Canada and European States, taking into account to a larger extent the interests of the States. In any event, the aspect of CETA that is likely to have the most significant impact on investment protection, is the creation of a permanent investment Court, which will be entrusted with the resolution of investment disputes falling under the CETA.

The CETA takes into account the States’ right to regulate, and creates a framework for the development of free trade while fostering sustainable development, environment protection and the protection of consumers’ and workers’ rights.

You can access our first full commentary here and we invite you to follow our blog posts relating to the matter in the coming weeks as this subject will be a hot topic in relation to the development of trade and arbitration environments between the EU and Canada.

By Athina Fouchard Papaefstratiou, Lucian Ilie, Hermann Prodel