The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have lauded the recent conclusion of the negotiations related to the EU- Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
ECSA welcomed the development as Belgian regional authorities ratified the agreement saying it is seen to “greatly benefit the maritime transport sector.”
“More and smoother trade means more and better maritime transport operations, shipping being the main vector of trade. The agreement importantly also ensures open market access with regard to international maritime transport services,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA secretary general, told reporters.
Further, he said the agreement is among the first to conditionally open feeder and dredging services and allow transportation of empty containers.
“These were important achievements the negotiators obtained and bring EU and Canada closer to similar and fairer market conditions – given the EU market is almost completely free, with some very few conditions,” Verhoeven added.
Currently, more than 80% of global trade is transported through shipping.
Additionally, ECSA said it is optimistic that other ongoing free trade discussions will end on a similarly positive note as they “create a better and more stable environment for shipping companies and other partners.”
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