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Canadian Minister To Promote EU Trade Deal

Canada's International Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland, is in Brussels this week to promote the benefits of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU).

In February, Canada and the EU announced the conclusion of the legal review of the English text of the agreement. They reaffirmed their commitment to seeing the CETA signed in 2016 and brought into force in early 2017.

While in Belgium, Freeland will meet with the EU's Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström. She will also hold talks with representatives of the Belgian Government and the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, and representatives of the EU business community. The visit will take place between April 20 and April 22.

Freeland said: "CETA's entry into force will deepen our trade and investment ties with the EU as a whole. It will offer significant opportunities for citizens and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. Canada and the EU are firmly committed to having CETA enter into force as early as possible so Canadians and Europeans can take full advantage of its benefits."

It is estimated that the agreement could boost bilateral trade by more than 20 percent. Two-way merchandize trade between Canada and the EU was worth almost CAD99bn (USD77.9bn) in 2015. Belgium is Canada's sixth-largest merchandize trading partner in the EU.

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