EU and Canada signed CETA

After the Belgian government managed successfully to get Wallonia on board, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) sets high standards for global trade.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk signed two landmark agreements: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) during the European Union-Canada Leaders’ Summit in Brussels, Belgium.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement will generate economic growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and reflects both sides’ commitment to free, fair and progressive trade, for the benefit of nearly 550 million EU and Canadian citizens. A Joint interpretative instrument, which further explains and clarifies the provisions of CETA was also adopted by the leaders, and an agreement was reached to work jointly towards the establishment of an independent and impartial multilateral investment court.
The signature of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) lays the foundations for the further strengthening of political dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and Canada. The Agreement will institutionalise and enrich the partnership across a wide range of areas, from foreign and security policy to research and innovation; and from tackling climate change and terrorism to working together in the fields of development cooperation and consular protection.

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Thank you 2016

Dear Members and Friends,

As 2016 comes to a close, I have the pleasure to share with you the highlights of a very busy and successful year for the BCBC. For the second year in a row, we have held a significant number of high-caliber events, and have continued to build on new initiatives to serve you better.

We have added a partnership with CHOQ-FM/GrandToronto.ca and Aline Ayoub HR to those signed previously with the Alliance Française, CanCham BeLux, and MTFX, and we are exploring several others as well.

2016 has been a tumultuous year for Belgians worldwide, and in Toronto in particular. It began with some great news, as just before the New Year, Brussels Airlines announced that they would be launching a new direct flight between Brussels and Toronto; they further approached the BCBC to help with the promotion of this new flight, beginning with an Executive Luncheon in January. We continued to work closely with Brussels Airlines in anticipated March 27th launch of this new service.

Alas, as we all know, March 22nd was a dark day for Belgians as Brussels was the target of coordinated terrorist attacks striking Brussels Airport and the Maelbeek metro station in downtown Brussels. That evening, the BCBC organized a press conference and candlelight vigil at Nathan Phillips Square during which we shared statements from H.E. Raoul Delcorde and ourselves, followed by Mayor John Tory sharing a few words of his own; we are particularly grateful to Mayor Tory for having taken time away from the memorial for his predecessor, Rob Ford, which took place simultaneously at City Hall. The following week, our media partner, CHOQ-FM, provided members of our community with the opportunity to reflect on these atrocities and what it means for Belgians, both at home and abroad.

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Canada’s March 2016 international trade, with focus on Belgium

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $312 million in January and went down to $147 million in February, were down again in March to $124 million. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $145 million in January and to $164 million in February, went up to $237 million in March. As we can see, our bilateral trade has its ups and downs and it will be interesting to follow its evolution in the coming months.

Overall Canadian exports fell 4.8% to $41 billion in March while imports declined 2.4% to $44.4 billion, widening Canada’s trade deficit with the world from $2.5 billion in February to a record $3.4 billion in March. Canadian exports decreased in 10 of 11 sections, with motor vehicles and parts (-6%), consumer goods (-4.6%) and metal and non-metallic mineral products (-5.4%) decreasing the most.

Canadian imports declined in 8 of 11 sections, the decreases led by consumer goods (-4.6%) and aircraft and other transportation equipment (-20.4%) but these were partially offset by higher imports of energy products (+13.5%).

Geographically, Canada’s exports to the United States fell 6.3% while imports were down 4.8%, narrowing the trade surplus with the U.S. from $2.1 billion in February to $1.5 billion in March, the lowest surplus since December 1993. Exports to other countries were down 0.2% while imports increased 2.2% and as a result, the Canadian trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. widened from $4.6 billion in February to $4.9 billion in March.

Detailed data on products/countries is available from Solimpex upon request.

© May 2016 All Rights Reserved by Christian Sivière, Solimpex Montréal  Christian.siviere@videotron.ca

Source: Statistics Canada

Badke

Click here for tickets: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage/badke/

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE

The title Badke is a play on the Arabic social folk dance “dabke.” The performance assembles a group of Palestinian dancers — diasporic artists, many of whom have trained outside of Palestine — to practice the traditional dance and infuse it with new proposals, vocabularies and ideas.

With this simple yet elegant structure, Badke expresses the universal desire to belong, and uses the language of dance in an urgent negotiation between the traditional and contemporary, the local and global. This work is a highly energetic, politically charged and stylistically diverse experience in which the artists incorporate movement from circus, capoeira and hip hop.

Partnership with CHOQ-FM!

At our January networking evening, “Frites Night”, we signed a new partnership with CHOQ-FM – Ontario’s biggest Francophone radio broadcaster, this is our first media partnership!

BCBC members get 20% discount on all CRT (Canadian Radio Telecommunication) services!

For more information please visit CHOQ-FM website http://choqfm.ca

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Canada’s November 2015 international trade, with focus on Belgium

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $233 million in September and went down to $158 million in October, were down again in November to $139 million. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $267 million in September and to $213 million in October, remained at a low $212 million in November. As we can see, our bilateral trade has its ups and downs and it will be interesting to see how it will evolve in the coming months.

Overall Canadian exports increased 0.4% in November while imports were down                   0.7%, reducing Canada’s international trade deficit from $2.5 billion in October to $2 billion in November.

Total Canadian exports rose to $43.3 billion, led by motor vehicles and parts (+5.9%), metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+20.4%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (+5.5%). These gains were partially offset by lower exports of energy products (-6.6%) and consumer goods (-4.5%). Total imports declined to $45.2 billion, the main declines being in electronic and electrical equipment (-2.9%), energy products (-6.4%) and consumer goods (-1%). These were moderated by a 2.5% increase in industrial machinery and equipment.

Geographically, Canadian exports to the U.S. rose 1.3% but imports were down 0.1%, increasing Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. from $1.7 to $2.1 billion. Exports to other countries declined 2.2% and imports by 2.1%, reducing Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. from $4.2 billion to $4.1 billion.

Canada’s main trading partner, the United States saw their November exports reach $182.2 billion (1% below October) and imports $224.6 billion (1.5% below October), lowering the U.S. international trade deficit from $44.6 billion to $42.4 billion. U.S. exports of industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods decreased the most, while capital and consumer goods led the decrease in imports.

Christian Sivière, Import Export Logistics Solutions, Montréal                                   Christian.siviere@videotron.ca   All Rights Reserved January 2016

Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau

The Belgian Canadian Business Chamber Announces New Strategic Partnership with MTFX

The Belgian Canadian Business Chamber (BCBC), which fosters bilateral relationships between Belgium and Canada, has today announced a new strategic partnership with MTFX, one of the largest foreign exchange and payment solutions providers in Canada.

BCBC logo - marbleToronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2015 – The BCBC is pleased to announce a partnership with MTFX. The new partnership will enable the members of the BCBC to gain access to currency exchange and international payment processing capabilities at substantially lower costs than those offered by main street banks. The partnership will allow members access to MTFX’s web base platform, providing a single point of access for currency exchange and fast and efficient international payment services.

“The Belgian Canadian Business Chamber is always looking at ways to provide more benefits to our members and we are pleased to be able offer our community significant savings for fast, efficient international payment processing and currency exchange. In today’s economic reality of globalization – whether it be for large multinationals, SMEs or even individuals – these international transactions are taking place every day and will increase once CETA is finalized, particularly for SMEs who are the most likely to benefit from this historic accord. In our efforts to promote bilateral relations between Canada and Belgium, and taking this global economic reality into account, we are pleased to enter into this partnership with MTFX, which we believe will be of great benefit to our members,” stated André van der Heyden, Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer, Belgian Canadian Business Chamber.

The BCBC is based in Toronto and works to foster contacts and relationships for members who share an interest in developing business and trade opportunities between Canada and Belgium. The aim of the BCBC is to raise awareness of Belgium in the economic and media capital of Canada. For additional information, visit www.belgiumconnect.com.

MTFX_Logo_2014_V1_REVISED“This partnership with the Belgian Canadian Business Chamber is an extension of our existing value proposition as a “one-stop-shop” for international payments and currency exchange services. This integrated service approach is unique in the payments industry,” said Arif Harji, Chief Market Strategist, MTFX. “We see ourselves as facilitators for our customers and partners with a blend of “high-touch” and “high-tech” solutions.”

Launched in 1996, MTFX is one of Canada’s oldest and largest non-bank providers of currency exchange services and international payment solutions. MTFX’s success has been driven by offering transparent and competitive currency exchange rates as well as global payment solutions that are unmatched in the industry. MTFX prides itself on outstanding service levels that are driven by great people and great technology. For additional information, visit https://mtfxgroup.com.

Canada’s international trade with focus on Belgium, the August 2015 figures

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $176 million in June and went down to $93 million in July, went back up to $153 million in August. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $235 million in June and to $236 million in July, were down to $179 million in August. As can be seen from these figures, our bilateral trade has its ups and downs and it will be interesting to follow its evolution in the coming months. Continue reading

Canada’s international trade with focus on Belgium, the July 2015 statistics

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $423  million in May and decreased to $114 million in June, decreased again to $93 million in July. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $168 million in May and up to $235 million in June, were up again in July, though slightly to $236 million. As we can see from this, our bilateral trade fluctuates a lot and it will be interesting to see how it will evolve in the months ahead. Continue reading

Canada’s international trade with focus on Belgium, the May 2015 statistics

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $207 million in February and increased to $281 million in March, decreased to $127 million in April. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $135 million in February and to $126 million in March, were back up to $132 million in April. As we can see, our bilateral trade fluctuates and it will be interesting to see its evolution in the coming months. Continue reading