Building bridges between Canada and Finland

In a political climate where protectionist and populist attitudes are prevalent, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) presents a number of opportunities for both Canadian and Finnish businesses to prosper.

As the second Navigator consultant to venture to Finland for a strategic exchange with Tekir, I have seen firsthand how Canada and Finland can use the agreement to promote the shared values and economic interests of both of our countries.

With CETA’s full ratification expected to take place over the course of the next four years, it is imperative that companies – particularly in the automotive, bioenergy and arctic solutions and technologies sectors – take full advantage of the exciting implications the deal will have for business. This shared understanding and foresight led to Tekir and Navigator’s collaboration on a seminar intended to spark a conversation around the CETA deal and its benefits to Canada and Finland.

Yesterday, Tekir and Navigator hosted a moderated panel discussion that provided attendees with an overview of the agreement and outlined its potential opportunities for both countries. We were honored to have Finland’s Foreign Trade and Development Minister Kai Mykkänen, Kemira President and CEO Jari Rosendal and the Embassy of Canada in Finland’s Senior Trade Commissioner Francis Uy participate on our panel and share their insights with us.

Through the discussion, it was clear that while the future of trade agreements with other global powers remains uncertain, deepening cooperation between Canada and the EU is a net positive, providing an island of economic certainty for businesses and investors. CETA marks Canada’s largest trade deal since NAFTA was signed in 1994 and, as we learned from the panel discussion, it is no mystery why – the agreement is expected to see 99 per cent of Canadian and EU tariffs eliminated increasing market access, enhancing investor protections, easing investment barriers and bolstering all players’ respective competitiveness.

Canada and Finland currently have a well-established trade relationship and share important similarities including the fact that both nations have a seat at the Arctic Council with thriving national resource and mining sectors.

Both countries can and should continue to learn from one another – partnership in northern territories, increased development of biofuels, defense and aerospace research and arctic transportation are just some specific topic areas that come to mind.

As CETA proceeds through various legislative hurdles, we eagerly await the trade deal’s approval. It is evident that both Canada and Finland stand to gain from this historic free trade agreement.

Arabella Goldring
Associate Consultant / Navigator