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Could CETA agreement open a new chapter in trade with Canada?

Trade has increased by 25 percent after the trade agreement was signed between the EU and Canada. The largest greenfield investment in Slovenia recently has come from a Canadian company, while Slovenian companies also look to Canadian markets.

Could CETA agreement open a new chapter in trade with Canada?

Canada is certainly not the first name that comes to mind when one speaks about Slovenia's most important business partners, investor countries or markets. The largest greenfield investments in recent times however have come from a Canadian company, automotive giant Magna. Magna’s new car-paint shop in Hoče near Maribor started to operate last July and represents the first phase in Magna’s involvement in Slovenia. On Magna’s Investor Day in Toronto this February, the importance of the corporation’s new state of the art paint shop was emphasized as the “first manufacturing footprint in Eastern Europe” and was said to have “potential to expand to a complete vehicle manufacturing plant”. The largest Slovenian investor in Canada is Litostroj Power, a manufacturer of water turbine equipment for hydroelectric power plants. Litostroj Power has a plant in Bromont in Quebec. Another Slovenian company with a strong Canadian presence is Domel, a global leader in vacuum and air-pump motor manufacture.

Trade between the two countries remains modest. In 2018, Slovenia’s exports and imports to and from Canada reached 60 million and 106 million euros respectively. The comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) between Canada And EU entered into force (at least provisionally) in September of 2017. The provisional data for 2019 published by the Slovenian Chamber of Economy and Commerce already shows a substantial increase in trade which reached 200 million euros last year. Currently Slovenia’s exports to Canada consist mostly of pharmaceutical products, electromechanical products and machinery. Canada’s major exports to Slovenia are aircraft, metals and mineral oils. Many opportunities remain unexplored with food products as one of the most promising areas.

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