Canada and the European Union enjoy a vibrant and centuries old economic relationship. In 1976, Canada and the EU signed the Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation. This was the first such agreement for the EU with an industrialized nation. Today the EU, with its 28 Member States, is Canada's second largest trading partner after the United States, its second most important source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the second most important destination for Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA). The EU is also Canada's second most important source of new technologies and a key partner in science and technology cooperation.
Highlights of the trade and investment relationship follow:
Although the large EU market offers important commercial opportunities for Canada, it also presents certain challenges. Among these are restrictions by some Member States on mergers and acquisitions, market distortions in agriculture, uneven harmonization of regulations for a single market, and a number of EU-imposed bans and restrictions related to health, environmental and consumer protection concerns.
In an effort to deepen and broaden the Canada-EU commercial relationship, negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were launched in May 2009 at the EU-Canada Summit in Prague. For more information on the CETA please see Trade Negotiations and Agreements.
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