The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

OACETT’s Employer Exchange Breakfast focuses on new treaty impacting Canadian business

The Conference Board of Canada’s deputy chief economist Pedro Antunes gave industry leaders the latest news on Canada’s economy and the new Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) at OACETT’s Employer Exchange Breakfast on November 5.

In his keynote address at the Sheraton Toronto Airport and Conference Centre, Pedro explained that moving workers easily and reliably across borders is more important as the global economy becomes more integrated.

With CETA, Canadian and European Union (EU) business people will have freer ability to work temporarily in each other’s market (from 90 days to three years). For Canadian employers it means less red tape when sending an employee abroad to work in an EU country. Challenges in obtaining a visa or work permit and problems concerning spousal visas, double taxation and the withholding of taxes should dissipate when CETA is finalized in 2016.

The treaty provides a framework for Canadian and EU professional associations to negotiate mutual recognition agreements that will help get workers recognition of their professional and technical qualifications when they practise abroad.

The new deal also provides more potential to trade in markets beyond the EU, addresses barriers to service trade, which represent fast-growth exports and should make it easier for Canada and the EU to sell goods and services, and invest directly in each other’s markets.

Canada is suffering from a soft domestic economy, so the need to look abroad for opportunities is critical. Economists believe CETA will directly lift the real GDP and have an indirect impact on productivity, innovation and investment – in turn, strengthening Canada’s economy.

The EU is a big market and, with a population of 509 million and a GDP per capita of US $34,500 (PPP or purchase power parity), it presents significant opportunities for Canada. Right now, services account for about one-third of Canada’s exports to the EU and this number is expected to increase with CETA.

For more information on CETA, read the Conference Board’s report

Across the Sea with CETA: What New Labour Mobility Might Mean for Canadian Business. We also encourage you to watch Pedro’s presentations on Canada’s economic outlook and CETA on our YouTube channel. To download the presentation, click here.

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