European shipowners have worryingly followed the negotiations thriller of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, and feel very relieved today as the Belgian regional authorities reached an agreement.
“We welcome the outcome after the lengthy and intense negotiations”, said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.
This trade agreement between EU and Canada will 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. This agreement is moreover 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 concluded.
ECSA hopes to see the other ongoing free trade discussions ending in similarly mutually benefitting conclusions, as shipping plays such a major role in international trade. Shipping today transports more than 80% of global trade around the world. It is reliable way of transporting goods globally, facilitates commerce and helps to create prosperity. The free trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP, TiSA and the EU-Japan FTA will also create a better and more stable environment for shipping companies and other partners.