CUSMA, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, came into effect on July 1st perfectly in time for Canada day, replacing NAFTA. In Canada, it’s called CUSMA but in the US, it’s USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) and TMEC (Tratato Mexico-Estados Unidos-Canada) in Mexico.
In effect since January 1st, 1994, the Trump Administration’s main reason for renegotiating NAFTA was to stop the flow of automobile assembly lines heading to Mexico. NAFTA had replaced the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement of 1988, itself broadening the scope of its predecessor, the Auto Pact of 1965. The Auto Pact began the integration of the Canadian and American automobile industries. Trump had declared NAFTA the worse-ever Free Trade Agreement signed by the United States and now declared USMCA (CUSMA), the best ever. This could lead us to believe that the new Agreement is very different from the original one but nothing is further from the truth.
Dear Belgian and Canadian friends and BCBC members and partners. I trust you are all well, in form and keeping safe.
Certainly, the confinement measures have allowed us to discover our new qualities: versatility, resilience, tenacity and resourcefulness, and some faults as well. In this respect, we have adjusted to new ways of keeping-up our routines and connecting with each other, in spite of the constraints imposed by the isolation. And though, we have become accustomed to the “new normal”, if you will, I think we await impatiently for the “post-pandemic return”, which we hope will be as soon as possible. Although, the confinement seems to be coming to an end and we are considering new projects for the Belgian chamber, the new day to day life will impose certain social distancing measures that may not allow us to do so right away.
In this particular context, we have prepared an activity for the Belgian National Day on July 21, 2020. We are proposing to mark the festive date with a Belgian Beer tasting event, which will also include cheese, chocolate and other Belgian goodies.
The event promises not only to be delectable, but also instructive. Registration includes a boxset with a variety of beers and goodies, as well as, the link to a Virtual Beer Tasting with “Beer Knight” Guy McClelland of McClelland Premium Imports which takes place July 21, 2020, at 6:00 pm. Participation to the celebration gives you the full experience of savouring delicious Belgian beers and learning about their particular qualities and characteristics: flavour, aroma and mouthfeel. Additional details are posted in the link below. We are counting on a strong participation on your part to help us mark the Belgian National Holiday, but also because these activities allow us to sustain the Belgian Chamber.
When the time comes to discuss the challenges of the recovery plans and the opportunities these might represent for our community, we shall be sure to highlight, through our activities, all the opportunities that might be available for our members on the Belgian-Canadian axis. We look forward to seeing you again as soon as the situation permits.
Stay healthy and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Warm Regards, Xavier Van Overmeire, BCBC President
Available for pick up in the High Park area (from July 18, 2020 at 2 PM) or delivery upon request. Please contact Idalia ~ email@example.com / 416.816.9154 for delivery options. Registration will close on Tuesday July 14, 2020 at 9 PM to ensure delivery.
Dear BCBC Partners and Members, Dear Friends of the BCBC,
The present confinement has allowed us to discover the extent to which, though we may come from different cultures and nationalities, we share a common humanity. On either side of the Atlantic, we all ran out of toilet paper more or less at the same time, many of us began making our own bread, while others decided to improve on their culinary talents; is this not indeed, proof of this share humanity?
On this note, the BCBC and some of its directors have accepted the challenge to share some of their culinary talents with you; hence, from cocktail to dessert the BCBC will set the table.Dear Chamber members, partners and friends, our thoughts are with you in this difficult period; as such, we ardently hope that these few videos will provide you with some ideas to brighten these challenging times. All will be well again! There is real hope for the lifting of the confinement measures shortly, for a sunny summer, for the crisis to prove to be less than expected, and for a vaccine for this fall.
With warmest regards, Xavier Van Overmeire, BCBC President
Click on the links below to see the videos.
“Meatballs in a Belgian Endive Sauce”
By Anne Popoff, Vice-President and Director Events Video
By Christian Frayssignes, Director, Advisor and EUCCAN Representative Video
Dear BCBC Partners and Members, Friends of the BCBC,
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, our lives have been turned upside down. Several aspects of our lives suddenly seem insignificant. The Raptors, the Maple Leafs or the Toronto Blue Jays are no longer a subject of conversation. We are suddenly facing issues that are much more serious than who won last night’s game. Our economy, which we considered strong a few weeks ago, is in danger of collapsing. The closing of our borders and the confinement measures require us to adapt our daily lives to the requirements of this new status quo.
On the other hand, today’s situation has given us an opportunity to discover how powerful and resilient we are as a community and how humanity is able to quickly adapt to this new way of life. International cooperation is strong and new information technology is being used to support, and even save, lives in a way we have never witnessed before.
The BCBC is at the heart of exchanges, cooperation and mutual aid, particularly between Europe and Canada. We will make sure to check in with our members and network and circulate any message that is directly or indirectly related to the pandemic and which we think could be helpful to you, our community members. As of now, you may find at the end of my message some resources provided by our partners that I hope you will find useful.
Moreover, if you have come across any articles, videos or announcements that could be of interest or help to our members at this time, please do not hesitate to forward them to our Director Michelle Willer (Michelle.Willer@BelgiumConnect.com), who will make sure everyone can benefit from them.
As a business network where mutual assistance is one of the key values, we are as ever at your disposal to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you – and stay healthy!
Xavier Van Overmeire, BCBC President
SHARING SOME RELEVANT INFORMATION
As mentioned above, you can find herein some relevant resources and information that our partners have generously shared with us. Do not hesitate to come back to us with additional relevant information to be shared with the BCBC community.
CIBC: Covid19 – Economic Perspective audiocast with Bejamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC Capital Markets. To access the audio cast: call 905-694-9451 and enter passcode 5635832# (in English, audiocast aired on March 30th, 2020).
We are facing a major global situation – a pandemic caused by COVID 19 virus. As a result, and with a view to safeguarding public health, we cannot maintain the BCBC events initially scheduled between now and May 1. We regret this very much. Rest assured that your health, as well as the health of all our Partners and Members is essential. Therefore, we cannot take any risks in jeopardising your health.
BCBC will inform you of the new dates for its events.
As a business network where mutual assistance is one of the essential values, we are as ever at your disposal to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any questions.
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With 2019 coming to an end, I would like to take this as an opportunity to reflect on this year’s highlights.
The BCBC organized multiple networking events and presentations related to business involving Belgian-Canadian relations. First, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada celebrated CETA’s second year since its provisional implementation in an event which featured keynote speeches by Peteris Ustubs, Ambassador of the European Union to Canada, Michael Thompson, Deputy Mayor of City of Toronto and Head of Economic Committee and Stephen W. Green, Labour Mobility Expert and Senior Partner at Green and Spiegel.
One free ticket for the BCBC 4th Annual Wine Tasting and Membership Drive (valued at $100) (includes a one year individual membership to the BCBC and free entry to the Wine Tasting) on January 29, 2020. – Winner: Jose Ramón Gutiérrez-Fabres
Click here for BCBC’s Saint Nicolas events in previous years.
At a breakfast meeting of the Belgian Canadian Business Chamber (BCBC) Business with Belgium Seminar Series on November 28, Gilles Brédas, Economic and Commercial Counselor, Consulate General of Belgium in Toronto outlined how his homeland is an ideal place for Canadian exporters, importers and investors to leverage the benefits of the recently signed Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA).
Thanks to its location at the heart of Europe, its capital city Brussels is the home of the European Council and the European Parliament as well as NATO headquarters. That helps make it is truly a global city since it also hosts more international organizations than Washington DC and almost as many embassies as New York, home of the United Nations.
The long-awaited Incoterms® 2020 revision came out on September 10th, after months of anticipation, during which various theories circulated on the internet as to what changes were going to be introduced. The timing of the release coincided with the Chamber’s 100th anniversary.