The European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will visit Montreal on September 26-27 to mark the first anniversary of the provisional entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada.

She will meet Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, James Gordon Carr, and attend the first EU-Canada Joint Committee, which is the highest body for the two partners to discuss issues of interest related to the agreement.

According to a Commission press release, Malmström will also visit several European and Canadian companies, discuss with company representatives who are already making use of the agreement, and speak at the Université de Montréal on September 27.

“The EU-Canada trade agreement has now been in action for a year and I’m pleased with the progress made so far,” said Malmström. “The preliminary data shows there is plenty to celebrate, even at this stage. Exports are up overall, and many sectors have seen impressive increases. This is great news for European businesses, big and small. As ever with these agreements, there are certain areas where we have to make sure that we thoroughly implement what has been agreed, making sure that citizens and companies can fully benefit from the new opportunities.”

Although it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, the initial trade results are pointing in the right direction. Across the EU, the latest statistics available, covering the October 2017 to June 2018 period, suggest that exports are up by over 7% year on year.

What is more, the machinery and mechanical appliances sectors, which make up one fifth of EU exports to Canada, are up by over 8%. Pharmaceuticals, which account for 10% of the EU exports to Canada and are up by 10%. Other important EU exports are also on the rise: furniture by 10%, perfumes/cosmetics by 11%, footwear by 8% and clothing by 11%.

In terms of agricultural products, there are also some encouraging figures: exports of fruit and nuts increased by 29%, chocolate by 34%, sparkling wine by 11% and whisky by 5%.

Belgian chocolate company Smet Chocolaterie that has just opened their first shop in Ontario, Canada, to cope with extra demand for their products; thanks to scrapping of 15% import duties their sales increased by a fifth compared to year ago. European exports of chocolate to Canada are up 34% overall, reported the European Commission.