European States, Canada To Update FTA

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

03 May 2016

Official delegations from Canada and the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland) met recently to discuss updating the Canada-EFTA free trade agreement, which has been in force since July 2009.

According to a statement released by EFTA on April 29, the two delegations noted that there is potential to enhance the scope of the existing agreement to include trade in services, investment, intellectual property, government procurement, and trade and sustainable development.

They also discussed the possibility of updating the agreement’s existing provisions covering trade in goods, market access, rules of origin, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and trade facilitation.

Merchandise trade between the EFTA bloc and Canada was worth USD7.2bn in 2015. However, there are also substantial bilateral flows of services and investment, which aren’t covered by the existing FTA.

Although no commitments were made with regards to future negotiations, both sides agreed to “remain in close contact” to discuss ways in which the FTA may be modernized and expanded.

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