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Canada | Brussels, 15 December 2010

EU and Canada take stock of historic Free Trade Agreement negotiations

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht met with Canada’s Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan in Ottawa, in order to take stock of progress toward a Canada-European Union trade agreement.

Commissioner De Gucht and Minister Van Loan declared that significant progress had been achieved and negotiations will continue. Both sides confirmed that negotiations are progressing ahead of expectations and are on track to achieve an agreement by the end of 2011.

“I am delighted with how much ground has already been covered in the negotiation for the benefit of our economies," said Commissioner De Gucht. Minister Van Loan underlined: “Some sensitive areas remain to be addressed and I have instructed our negotiators to explore creative and constructive solutions to resolve these challenges.” He added: "We are moving closer to an agreement that has the potential to increase trade between Canada and the European Union, and create jobs and opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Canada is the EU's eleventh most important trading partner whereas the EU, with its 27 states, is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, after the United States. An economic study jointly released by the EU and Canada in October 2008 shows that a trade agreement would boost the EU's economy by about €16 billion annually.

Since October 2009 the EU and Canada have held five successful rounds of negotiations.

For further information
EU-Canada trade relations

View pictures of the meeting