Canada and European Union sign free trade agreement
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso have signed a free trade agreement that could result in more fluid movement of people moving abroad to work, as well as simplified work permits for some industries and a wider scope of activities allowed under the “business travel” label.
The deal was agreed in Brussels on Friday (18th October), and although the deal will still require approval by parliaments and EU member states, Mr Barroso has called it a “breakthrough in negotiations” to achieve “a great agreement for both the European Union and Canada”, while Mr Harper has said that the agreement was “the biggest (trade) deal our country has ever made”.
Once it has been put into motion the agreement will allow companies to invest in, and trade with, each other much more easily as well as encourage workers to move overseas where their knowledge and skills are more in demand.
The Canadian federal government says the agreement could boost Canada’s annual income by as much as $12 billion annually and also increase bilateral trade by 20%. It is also expected to greatly reduce the cost of food and drink and also high-end European made cars for Canadians. For Europe the deal will also mean more Canadian beef, pork and bison.
Earlier this month Canada was named as the happiest place for British expats to live in a survey conducted by globalvisas.com (read the full article here) although the new trade agreement could take up to two years to manifest itself to people working in Canada, it will certainly increase the country’s desirability as an expat hotspot.
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