techUK sees Canadian-EU trade deal as positive for sector

‘UK and Canada have solid foundations on which to grow digital trade,’ thinks UK supplier sector trade body

Posted 21 February 2017 by

techUK, the voice of the British ICT vendor community, has welcomed the new Canadian-European Union trade deal – CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) – as offering a lot of positives for the sector.

That splits into current and future opportunities, it’s just noted in a new blog post – with that future being, of course, Brexit-shaped.

The trade deal is generally being seen as a boost for the European tech sector, particularly for telecoms, cyber security and data storage, with the likely removal of almost all trade tariffs between the two. Some observers expect increase bilateral trade in goods and services by more than 20%, according to one joint EU-Canada study.

Meanwhile, cleantech, medtech and telecoms have already been identified as possible areas for trade between the UK and Canada, while the UK was Canada’s third-largest merchandise export market in the world in 2015, as well as being the largest destination for Canadian direct investment in Europe, techUK is pointing out.

However, while CETA could come into force partially this year, which means UK firms may well be able to see benefits before our departure from the European Union, full implementation will ensue only after clearance by national and regional parliaments, “which may prove difficult in a number of instances”, cautions the group.

Still, “With the Canadian Government opening new trade offices in the UK in the Autumn of last year, it is clear that the UK and Canada have solid foundations on which to grow digital trade,” says the group’s Head of International Trade, Simon Spier, one of the blog’s authors.

“CETA sets a standard the UK can build on post-Brexit,” he and his fellow techUK-er, Policy Director Charlotte Holloway, believe.

And on that front, the post points out how the Canadian Government have previously noted “high uncertainty impacting consumption and investment decisions” relating to the vote to leave the European Union – but Canada also says we have a “highly accommodative business environment”, ranking 10th out of 140 on the World Economic Forum’s recent Global Competitiveness Report.

Go here for the EU’s own full breakdown of what CETA might mean for your specific industry, as well as the overall view of the deal as it currently stands.