20 mar 2019
At the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism

THE PRESIDENT OF CEOE INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATED IN A MEETING ON TRADE RELATIONS BETWEEN SPAIN AND CANADA

Spanish and Canadian investments in both markets were analysed, as well as the situation of both countries within the international context and their reputation, among other issues.

The president of CEOE International, Marta Blanco, took part today in a meeting at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to talk about trade relations between Spain and Canada. The meeting was attended by the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez; the Ambassador of Canada to Spain, Matthew Levin; the executive manager of ICEX-Invest in Spain, María Jesús Fernández; the head of the Instituto de Reputación, Fernando Prado, and the president of Canada’s Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Óscar Vázquez; among others.

Spain an Canada meeting
The president of CEOE International, Marta Blanco, in a meeting about trade relations between Spain and Canada.

At the meeting, they analysed Spanish and Canadian investments in both markets, the situation of both countries within the international context and their reputation, among other issues.

 

Multilateralism and the WTO

The president of CEOE International, Marta Blanco, talked about the situation of Canada and Spain within the international context. She stated that the bilateral relationship between both countries is excellent in fields such as politics, defence, security and the economy. In fact, in this last field, Canada represents the tenth and Spain the fourteenth most important economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP.

Blanco highlighted that “in Spain alone, exports of goods and services exceed 34% of GDP and 1.8 million jobs are related to exports of goods outside of the EU” and she added that “our companies’ investment abroad (€500.031 billion) is just as important for growth as foreign investment in our country, which accounts for 1.4 million jobs in Spain”.

Marta Blanco said it is fundamental for both countries to defend the WTO as the ultimate guarantor of the body of rules.  She recalled that the WTO has consolidated itself over the past seventy years to guarantee open trade based on shared rules, as also stressed the importance of the dispute resolution mechanism, which is key for maintaining regulatory order and the credibility of the system. However, she pointed out that the firm defence of multilateralism does not imply "that we are oblivious to the profound transformation of world trade," and, therefore, the governance of the WTO would need to be modernized and the regulatory framework would have to be adapted in order to be able to tackle the current obstacles faced by Spanish companies abroad more efficiently.

The president of CEOE International positively valued the constructive position being adopted by the EU and Canada to provide a way out for the current crisis in which the WTO is immersed. In this regard, she recalled that CEOE and Canada’s Chamber of Commerce conveyed, together with the other business organizations that met on March 14 and 15 at the B20 Summit in Tokyo, a clear message to the presidency of the G20 in favour of multilateralism, to preserve international trade and global economic growth.

 

The CETA agreement

Marta Blanco considered that, at a bilateral level, the entry into force of the CETA agreement between the EU and Canada on September 21, 2017, showed the firm willingness of Canada and the EU to strengthen bilateral economic relations through the reduction of tariffs, the elimination of numerous tariff barriers and the equivalence of standards.

In addition, she highlighted that it is important to publicize the opportunities offered by this agreement among the companies and ensure their proper implementation in all areas. In this regard, she mentioned that a specific working group has been created within the CEOE to monitor the degree of compliance with this type of agreement.

 

USCMA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

The President of CEOE International explained that Spanish entrepreneurs positively value the USCMA (United States, Mexico Canada Agreement), since it is a fundamental agreement for companies that invest in Canada to be able to access the US and Mexican markets. “This agreement, as well as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, of which Canada is a member together with another 10 countries, will continue to reinforce Canada as an interesting place for investment.

Lastly, Blanco said to be committed to CEOE continuing to reinforce economic and trade relations between both countries, as she did on the occasion of the visit of a business delegation to Canada in 2017 and with the participation, jointly with the Canadian embassy, in several informative meetings on CETA across Spain.