Mark Agnew

Trade and Economic Advisor

Part of UK in Canada

27th August 2013 Ottawa, Canada

Reading the (trade) tea leaves

The late PM Meles Zenawi

I will admit trade policy isn’t always edge-of-your-seat material, but lately it has been getting its fair share of press.

From a new Director-General at the World Trade Organisation, to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and the start of bilateral trade talks between the EU and US, there are a lot of potential game changers for global trade on the horizon.

For us here at the British High Commission Ottawa, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations are obviously a top priority.

Flags of the European Union and Canada (Photo: Delegation of the European Union to Canada)
Flags of the European Union and Canada (Photo: Delegation of the European Union to Canada)

The benefits of CETA are many. For starters, we expect it to: open up greater opportunities for British exporters in many sectors, including manufactured goods and spirits; give UK companies a level playing field when bidding for procurement contracts; and encourage greater investment by UK pharmaceutical companies through increased patent protection.

For Canada it means access to a market of over 500 million consumers across 28 countries, with improved market access conditions for goods, services, and investment.

The Canada-UK commercial relationship also benefits from other, wider, trade initiatives like the Pacific Alliance or the WTO because of the reliance on global value chains as a means of production. This was highlighted in a recent speech by Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin.

Businesses increasingly rely on global supply chains rather than developing entire products in country, and so liberalisation taking place in third countries is still good news for exporters.

As you can see there is a lot on the trade radar as we head in to the fall. I expect the autumn to be fascinating on a number of fronts. I hope to be posting more regularly, so watch this space!

About Mark Agnew

Mark has served as the Trade and Economic Advisor at the British High Commission since 2011.

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