Jandroković: It is in the EU's interest for all member states to ratify CETA

Zagreb - Speaking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said in Zagreb on Tuesday he firmly believed that all EU members would ratify the agreement because in that way both the EU and Canada would profit.

"CETA is in the interest of both the European Union and Canada. It will additionally strengthen the position not only of small and medium-sized enterprises but also of large enterprises that have high-quality products and can compete on the very demanding Canadian market," Jandroković said at a ceremony in the Sheraton hotel which was also attended by Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament.

The agreement has so far been ratified by 12 EU member states. Croatia ratified it on 9 November 2017 and was the third EU country to do so, while Finland is so far the last to have ratified it. Helsinki did it earlier this month.
Regan said that CETA was opening up the space for larger investments and that trade would contribute to the greater prosperity of citizens of Canada and the EU.

Canadian Ambassador Daniel Maksymiuk added: We are looking forward to the second year of CETA implementation in Croatia because CETA in many ways facilitates trade between Canada and the EU.

CETA provisionally entered into force on 21 September 2017 when all trade-related elements of the agreement started to apply, including the lifting of customs on 98 percent of products, access to the market, the possibility of participating in public procurement tenders, and regulatory cooperation.

Customs were lifted on almost all products that Croatia exports to Canada and the remaining two percent mostly apply to some agricultural products such as meat, poultry and eggs.

The agreement will be provisionally in force until the completion of the ratification process in all EU member states.
"The agreement is a new opportunity for all European enterprises, especially small ones, to export to Canada. Thanks to CETA, enterprises have so far managed to save more than 600 million euros in customs costs," said Branko Baričević of the European Commission Representation in Croatia.

Baričević added that CETA was one of the most advanced trade agreements, promoting environmental protection and sustainable development.

Also attending the ceremony were Joe Basic, president of the Canadian-Croatian Business Network, and Luka Burilović, president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier in the day, Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić also met with Regan, underlining the importance of bilateral cooperation as part of CETA for boosting trade. They talked about cooperation in multilateral forums and current global challenges, the ministry said in a press release.

Canada was one of the first countries to recognise Croatia's independence 27 years ago today. Last year the two countries marked 25 years of bilateral relations.

Both countries see the large Croatian expatriate community in Canada as an important link with the potential to promote economic relations, the ministry said.

Author: Hina