Press release

UK Trade Minister calls for speedy conclusion to £1.3 billion Canada trade agreement

Lord Livingston begins a 3 day trade visit to Canada today (26 March 2014).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Lord Livingston begins a 3 day trade visit to Canada today (26 March 2014) where he will call for a speedy conclusion to an EU-Canada trade agreement benefitting UK firms by £1.3 billion a year.

The UK’s Trade and Investment Minister will also highlight the opportunities for greater UK-Canadian trade and investment through the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). As the UK is Canada’s top trading partner in the EU, it will help support businesses in both countries to increase exports and attract investment.

Accompanied by a delegation of UK companies from the energy and environmental sectors, the minister will promote the UK as a centre of excellence in these sectors to Canadian business leaders at the sustainability conference Globe 2014.

A joint statement of co-operation in trade and investment will be signed by Lord Livingston and Teresa Wat, British Columbian Minister for International Trade in Vancouver. The UK and Canada will share information on strategies and programmes to maximise trade and investment and grow business links through trade missions, business networking events and matchmaking companies.

Lord Livingston said:

We have a strong trade and investment relationship with Canada which I am determined to build on. The important CETA agreement has real potential to create growth and jobs in both countries and I look forward to its speedy conclusion.

UK expertise and investment opportunities are in demand around the world. Last week’s budget (19 March 2014) demonstrates our commitment to increasing UK exports and inward investment, and the environmental sector is a particularly strong example of this, worth £128 billion and supporting 1 million UK jobs.

Other highlights of the trip include:

  • meeting with British Columbia Premier Christy Clark
  • meeting with Environment Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie
  • opening the UK-British Columbia forum on supporting environmental innovation
  • speaking at the Economy Club on CETA

The UK is Canada’s second largest trade and investment partner after the US and Canada remains 1 of the biggest global import markets - a significant source of demand for UK exports. UK exports of goods and services to Canada in 2012 were £4.2 billion for goods and £3.9 billion for services.

The UK environmental goods and services sector is estimated to be worth £128 billion and supports nearly 1 million jobs in Britain. The UK is currently the sixth largest low carbon economy in the world.

The UK is Canada’s second largest destination for FDI after the US and is seen as Canada’s launch pad for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Canadian FDI in the UK continues to be strong with over 700 Canadian companies with UK operations.

The minister’s trip follows the government’s budget announcements last week aimed at increasing the support available to help UK businesses export and increase inward investment. UK Export Finance will double investment in its Direct Lending Scheme to £3 billion, launch a consultation to boost UK exports, launch its Export Refinancing Facility for long-term loans over £50 million and increase its direct marketing activity. UKTI will invest a further £2.4 million to extend its Global Entrepreneur Programme to attract more of the world’s fast growth businesses to the UK.

Notes to Editors:

1. Canada:

  • the UK is Canada’s second largest trade and investment partner after the US
  • Canada remains 1 of the biggest global import markets and a significant source of demand for UK exports
  • UK exports of Goods and Services to Canada in 2012 were £4.2 billion for goods and £3.9 billion for services
  • top UK goods exports to Canada: crude oil and oil products, aircraft engines and parts, pharmaceuticals, gold, cars, silver, spirits
  • top UK goods imports from Canada: gold, diamonds, uranium, nickel/nickel materials, precious metals, helicopters/aircraft, aircraft engines
  • Canadian imports of Goods and Services were £5.8 billion for goods and £1.5 billion for services. Canada was the 19th biggest destination for UK exports (of goods) in 2012
  • the UK is Canada’s second largest destination for FDI after the US and is seen as Canada’s launch pad for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Canadian FDI in the UK continues to be strong with over 700 Canadian companies with UK operations. UKTI’s most recent figures show 63 FDI projects in 2012-13, representing the third highest figure ever from Canada
  • major investments came from a variety of sectors including, financial services, advanced engineering, energy and information communication technology (ICT) including into Tech City in London. Canadian investment in the UK currently stands at a stock of C$87 billion. UKTI Canada currently has over 130 Canadian companies on their books who are looking at investing in the UK
  • many major Canadian companies have significant investments in the UK including the likes of Bombardier, Thomson Reuters, McCain, CGI, Maple Leaf Foods, Blackberry, Mitel, Cirque du Soleil, Nexen, and Finning. The Canadian family the Westons own Selfridges, Heals, Fortnum and Mason, and Associated British Foods
  • Canadian pension funds are some of the most prolific investors into UK infrastructure, real estate and other asset classes – approximately C$35 billion. Many of these funds have set-up London based offices as they continue to look for opportunities to invest in UK

2. CETA:

  • the EU/Canada Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) is a landmark trade deal that will bring benefits to both sides
  • as Canada’s top trading partner within the EU, the trade deal stands to bring £1.3 billion in annual benefit to UK GDP in the long term and will also help support businesses and investment on both sides
  • on 18 October Prime Minister Harper and European Commission President Barroso announced that agreement in principle had been reached on the core elements of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Economic modelling has estimated the deal to be worth C$12 billion to the Canadian economy and £1.3 billion to the British economy in the long run. Negotiations continue to finalise the CETA’s contents
  • although the CETA provides numerous benefits for British business, the agreement will also help to improve our offer for current and potential inward investors through:
    • EU tariff liberalisation on non-agriculture products. Many food products also liberalised with certain sensitive products receiving significantly increased quota amounts
    • locked in access to EU procurement markets
    • locked in access to EU services markets (NB: services outcome still pending final agreement)

3. UK Trade and Investment:

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.

4.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 26 March 2014