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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BWB – Business with Belgium Dec 6, 2016

To open the information session at Toronto’s Alliance Française Theatre on December 6, André van der Heyden, VP & COO, Belgian Canadian Business Chamber delivered a brief welcoming statement from H.E. Raoul Delcorde, Ambassador of Belgium to Canada. Click here to see the full statement: message-from-he-delcorde-docx.

Click here for the Agenda: 2016-12-06-bwb-draft-agenda.

Despite recent news stories about the uncertain future of world trade, Joy Nott, President, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters Inc. (IE Canada), stressed that Canadian exporters must continue developing their strategies to leverage the opportunities arising from CETA (Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement) with the European Union and its affluent consumers. Click here for Joy Nott’s presentation: belgium-joy-nott Continue reading

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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EU Film Festival Nov 10-24

This year’s EUFF program is finally live!

28 feature films from 28 European countries will be screened at the Royal from November 10-24. From 19th century Amsterdam to today Estonian country side, from a Portuguese ADN laboratory to the Sami people in Finland, let’s come and travel, laugh and cry, feel and relax!
Discover the full lineup and start planning your Festival visit by clicking here.
Remember, general admission to screenings is FREE, but if you ABSOLUTELY MADLY want to see a film, we have you covered. You can book your ticket in advance for $10 – see here.

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What happened at the 2016 AGM


Thanks to all of you who attended our AGM, and a special thank you to a dedicated Board of Directors for their tireless efforts over the past year!. Without these efforts, we would not have such a vibrant Chamber.
The 2015-2016 year has once again been an active one for the Belgian community in the GTA. In the past year, Canada as a whole, and Toronto in particular, has received a lot of attention from the highest levels in Belgium. This began in October with a Trade Mission to Western Canada led by HRH Princess Astrid.

Following this, Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice-Minister-President and Minister of Economics and Foreign Affairs of Wallonia, led a delegation to Toronto which participated in our “Business with Belgium” Trade & Investment Seminar prior to engaging in B2B meetings with local counterparts.

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

Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $181 million in June and to $172 million in July, were up substantially in August to $232  million. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, amounting to $165 million in June and to $130 million in July, also increased to $213 million in August. As we can see, our bilateral trade is on the upswing and it will be interesting to see its evolution ahead. Continue reading

Report on Invest Ottawa session on CETA Sept 12

Invest Ottawa held the third event of its new international trade program series last Monday Sept 12th and the topic this time was the upcoming Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA). This was a timely event as CETA is the main item on the agenda of the upcoming Canada-EU summit in Brussels Oct 27th and 28th. The session was well attended with participants from a variety of fields from business, academia, government, finance, logistics to NGO’s, all very interested in the development of exchanges and cooperation between Canada and the European Union. Continue reading

The European Union’s June 2016 international trade figures  

According to preliminary estimates just published by Eurostat, the Euro area recorded an international trade surplus in goods of €29.2 billion in June, while the surplus for the EU28 as a whole was €7.7 billion.

The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in June 2016 was €178.8 billion, a decrease of 2% compared to June 2015. Imports from the rest of the world stood at €149.5 billion, a fall of 5% compared to June 2015. Intra-euro area trade fell to €150.2 billion in June 2016, down by 1% compared with June 2015. Continue reading