Canada-Netherlands CETA event
(On-screen title: Together we build a stronger tomorrow. At the Canada-Netherlands Trade Event, a small Dutch flag and a small Canadian flag are on a table.)
SUSAN ORMISTON: CETA took a long time to negotiate,
but it has been in existence for one year already, and by some reports
it's been very successful and an entrée to new trading relationships.
Not all European members have ratified it yet,
but with all this talk about tariffs south of the border,
what we're seeing with CETA is, if I'm correct,
98% of tariffs have been removed. What an accomplishment.
Prime Minister, why is CETA so important to the Netherlands?
PRIME MINISTER RUTTE: Thank you for this very good question.
Three reasons. First of all, because, as you said, it has tripled...
Trade is increasing, it already tripled in the last ten years,
but now we see an extra increase of trade to the Netherlands,
but also from the Netherlands to Canada, and we see this for many European countries.
That is reason number one. Reason number two is because what we do with CETA,
we combine free and fair, so it is really a modern foreign trade agreement.
Reason number three is because it is an example of multilateralism.
That you have an EU of 28 member states,
Canada being one of the biggest economies in the world, a member of the G7,
that we can still work together.
JULIE ALLEN: Trade has increased. It's around 24 per cent on average,
both ways, so it is increasing.
More and more companies are becoming aware of CETA,
but a lot of them don't know specifically what's in it for me.
And that's where the Chamber can play a role,
that's where the trade commissioners from both embassies can play a role.
SABINE NÖLKE: We have really three roles, I think, in our Trade Commissioner Service:
information, promotion and client service.
And what we do is: we provide information
for any business that wants to expand into the Netherlands,
or for any Dutch company that wants to go into Canada.
Very practical things on a sector-by-sector basis or a location basis.
You can pick that information up off the internet,
but you can also call us on the phone.
And then we provide client service.
We have a Soft Landing Program on both sides of the Atlantic for small companies
that want to explore the market.
For three months, they can settle in,
and we help them build their networks, etcetera.
So it's very practical.
TIES DE WILDE: For the past almost a hundred years,
we have been designing, producing and selling
beautifully designed and sustainably made household products.
We're proud to say we do this for the vast majority of our products in the Netherlands,
and we are trying to get, we are trying to expand our business in Canada.
First I would like to hear from Mr Ties De Wilde with Brabantia.
What has been your experience so far with CETA?
Well, we are operating in the household industry,
which is a highly, highly competitive market, very much price-based.
In Canada, so far, we are dealing with the top retailers,
and there it's very much based on quality products, but also on price.
And the CETA agreement has already given us a way
to expand the current business with current retailers,
but also it is easier to knock on the door of other retailers.
The only challenge is that, actually, the right commercial decision makers
of those retailers need to be informed about the CETA, and this is not always the case.
I'm hearing that as a theme, actually, doing a bit of reading,
that it needs to be more promoted in general.
CETA needs to be known more.
I think so. I mean, in the major retailers in Canada,
we find that they have a separate department for imports and regulations.
These people are very well aware of the benefits,
but it's not necessarily translated in the proper way
to the commercial decision makers.
For Canada, of course, you have such a big neighbour, the U.S.,
where, I think, many companies here in Canada do business with the U.S.
I think that's quite natural, but now to also do business
with 28 countries in the European Union.
And there is a market that is twice as big as the American market,
so I would urge you to get on board.
There are so many opportunities, but we have to work on this.
I think the embassies are working on that, both here and in The Hague,
the Canadian Embassy in The Hague, the Dutch Embassy here in Ottawa,
but also the consulate generals in various cities here in Canada.
The Dutch Government, the Chamber of Commerce
and the Netherlands-Canada Chamber of Commerce are working on this.
And of course, maybe I can add to this that, from a technical point of view,
Dutch businesses can only profit from these lower tariffs
if they are registered as certified exporters at customs.
That's very easy.
It is a quick process, a quick win, but you have to do that to make maximal use of this.
We realised that this was key, and actually a precondition to make use of this.
So, this was immediately done, and we are already doing business now in Canada.
So this doubling or tripling of the business has already happened with us, actually,
and we foresee more growth in the future.
Well, we're glad to see you, because I love quality kitchen products myself, I do.
That is the truth.
DON PAAUWE: I'm very happy that CETA is in effect, almost a year now.
And I must say it really increased our business.
We do dispensing equipment, so beer towers, beer faucets,
all kinds, anything related to draught beer and draught equipment,
and I must say, I am excited about CETA at the moment.
Another thing that happened is: we're dealing with Accuflex beverage hoses,
and we are going to be the dealer for Europe for them
and doing distribution marketing for them.
So, we not only sell equipment into Canada, but also get equipment in from Canada,
so it works both ways for us.
GREG ESTON: Accuflex is a hose and tubing manufacturer.
We manufacture the tubing that runs between fountain systems
for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and between draught beer systems
for Coors, Molson or Anheuser-Busch.
For us, the European market was too many mountains to climb for the longest time.
It was easier to look at the low-hanging fruit in the United States
and maximise our potential down there.
But of course now, with CETA, what has happened is:
of the five major barriers that I had moving my product into the European Union,
CETA has knocked down three of them already.
We feel, you know, we have selected the right partner in Canuck Beverage.
And that is a big part of what you're doing,
because we are using their skill and their expertise in the European Union markets
to allow us to propagate our products over there.
The biggest mountain has been tariffs.
And if you look at the 33 per cent uptake in trade and exports
from Canada to the Netherlands, that's clearly because of the tariffs.
It's lobster, it's salmon, it's seafood, it's pulp and paper.
So, it's all the things that Canadians like to send overseas,
all of a sudden have gotten between 7 and 22 per cent cheaper.
One reason we have been able to reach so many more Dutch companies is:
we have gone to the Dutch trade associations.
Why is it a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises?
Why is that so important?
OMAR ALGHABRA: Well, ninety-some per cent of our businesses
are small and medium-sized enterprises, so they are the backbone of our economy.
And the more, the healthier they are, the healthier our economy is,
and they have a greater potential to grow.
They have technologies, they have skills
that we know the rest of the world can benefit from.
But we feel that it's untapped,
and that's why there is a significant growth opportunity in that sector.
REMCO DOLMAN: Spotzi is a data analytics company.
For instance, if you want to open a new store,
we know the best place on earth to do that.
We are originally a Dutch company,
but four years ago we decided to incorporate in Canada,
and now we've got our second main office in Toronto.
The reason we chose Canada is: there is a really good IT atmosphere here,
and I would even compare it to Silicon Valley in San Francisco.
It's all about people, it's all about knowledge
and the CETA agreement makes it easier
for us to transfer people between Europe and Canada.
And we're looking forward to expanding more,
and I think CETA will help us to grow even faster here in Canada.
CETA helps with mobility.
The government has, and again, I defer to the Parliamentary Secretary on this,
but we've created this new visa process for global skills,
which makes it really much easier for highly skilled employees in those industries
to come to Canada and work there.
CETA, within it, also has provisions
for professionals to live and work in each other's countries.
CETA has lowered barriers for professionals,
particularly in the digital sector that you're describing.
And I do want to highlight that, earlier this year, our two countries signed MoUs
with our research council agencies.
We also signed MoUs with our statistics agencies,
and we signed MoUs with the development finance agencies.
So, there's a particular awareness.
Can we do more? Yes.
THE TRANQUIL MUSIC CONTINUES
(Prime Minister Rutte, Omar Alghabra and Sabine Nölke smile as they watch three men, including Greg Eston and Don Paauwe, sign a document. They pose for a photo, while Rutte, Alghabra and Nölke applaud.)
(The screen turns white with a photo of poppies at the bottom. The Dutch coat of arms, next to: Kingdom of the Netherlands. Royaume des Pays-Bas. On-screen text: Together we build a stronger tomorrow. Under that, the logo of Canada & the Netherlands, Historical ties, shared future and the tekst www.netherlandsandyou.nl.)
THE TRANQUIL MUSIC FADES AWAY