Business with Belgium ~ It’s all about CETA

The Belgian Canadian Business Chamber together with the Canadian International Council (CIC) and the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) brought together numerous experts to for a session on “It’s all about CETA” on May 18th, 2018

Pasquale Madonna, senior consultant, Trade & Customs practice KPMG led off with an update on increased second -generation, public-sector contract deals under CETA. In the past, sales of goods, projects and services to all three levels of government were subject to local content rules that discouraged or excluded foreign bidders. CETA has eliminated most of those barriers.  Smaller contracts are still set aside for local suppliers.

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Olivier de Spiegeleir at the Alliance Française

Our partners from the Alliance Française are organizing a concert with a Famous Belgian pianist.
The 6th person who presents themselves coming from the BCBC will win a free ticket!

For 20 years, Belgium pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir has travelled the world performing his “commentated recitals”, an original and enjoyable formula. During this concert, the pianist will celebrate the centenary of Claude Debussy’s death. Known as “Claude of France”, the revolutionary musician’s “scandalous” and mysterious creative liberty embodied the musical revolution of the twentieth century.

Get your tickets here :

  •  Date: March 23 at 8:00 pm
  •  Location: Spadina Theatre


As part of the CETA Market Access Program for EU Business, two Workshops will be organized, with the aim of providing strategic insights for EU business on the opportunities and challenges of the Canadian market and enabling and expanding a sustainable information sharing network amongst EU stakeholders.  These EU Workshops will bring together selected industry leaders and EU networks for closed door discussions, to share insights on the business climate for EU businesses in Canada.

The first Workshop will be held in Toronto on October 19th 2017, more information on this event is provided below. The second Workshop will be held in Vancouver in the second half of 2018. Continue reading

New partnership with OWIT

In our efforts to provide our members with more benefits we have established a partnership with OWIT – the Organization of Women in International Trade.

OWIT is a non-profit professional organization designed to promote women doing business in international trade by providing networking and educational opportunities and comprised of 30+ local chapters across Central, North and South America, Western Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as a Virtual Chapter for professionals involved in international trade without a local chapter where they reside or work. Continue reading

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/ 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

Source: Statistics Canada


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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

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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                            All Rights Reserved January 2016

Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau