Provincial Chambers and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity of the fourth round of Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, due to begin in Brussels on Monday, to send a strong message of unity from the business communities they represent.
The participation of all the provinces and territories in the federally-led negotiations is a new experience for most, and it is important that all the provinces maintain a high level of ambition, without which a successful Canada-EU CETA cannot be concluded.
The Europeans in particular have clearly indicated that they gauge our level of ambition based on that of our individual provinces and territories.
The letter reads as follows (click here to see the PDF version):
An Open Letter to the Premiers of the Provinces and Territories of Canada
Our associations jointly represent hundreds of thousands of businesses in every sector, of every size and in every province and territory of Canada. We advocate policies that benefit businesses and communities across this country.
Canada should pursue all opportunities to assist its businesses to grow and expand their markets, both foreign and domestic. We firmly believe that there is an urgent need for all the provinces and territories to enhance their access to international markets, which will allow them to adapt to economic shifts, expand their global customer base, raise their appeal as destinations for overseas direct investment, boost business competitiveness, and create the jobs which will allow communities and families from coast-to-coast to prosper.
To that end, we strongly support an ambitious, timely and successful conclusion to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations. Our members view Europe as a prime market for their goods and services, and as a key source of investment. The EU is Canada’s second largest trade and investment partner, and a vast market of nearly 500 million consumers.
With the fourth round of negotiations due to begin next week, we call upon the provincial and territorial governments to continue playing an active role in the discussions, and to continue ambitiously contributing to the negotiation process so as to reach a successful final agreement, which will benefit the national, provincial and territorial economies.
A successful Canada-EU CETA is vital for strengthening the ability of the provinces and territories to access trade and investment opportunities for their resources, manufactured goods and services globally, and to expand the quantity and quality of jobs associated with these sectors in the interest of our communities.