The lengthy negotiations regarding the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have concluded as the Belgian regional authorities reached an agreement on the matter.
European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has welcomed the outcome of the negotiations, adding that the trade agreement is expected to “greatly benefit the maritime transport sector.”
“More and smoother trade means more and better maritime transport operations, shipping being the main vector of trade. The agreement importantly also ensures open market access with regard to international maritime transport services,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.
He added that this agreement is one of the first to conditionally open some feeder services, transportation of empty containers and dredging services.
“These were important achievements the negotiators obtained and bring EU and Canada closer to similar and fairer market conditions – given the EU market is almost completely free, with some very few conditions,” Verhoeven said.
Shipping today transports more than 80% of global trade around the world.
ECSA hopes to see the other ongoing free trade discussions ending in similarly mutually benefiting conclusions, as the free trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP, TiSA and the EU-Japan FTA will “create a better and more stable environment for shipping companies and other partners.”