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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » December 1, 2014
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Boost for Canada-Poland Business Ties
December 1, 2014   
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A new, wide-ranging free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union is a chance to strengthen economic ties with Poland, said Canadian Governor General David Johnston during an official visit to Warsaw Oct. 24.

It was the first visit to Poland by a Canadian governor general, who in his home country represents Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Canada’s head of state. The visit came after negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada were completed in September. The agreement, which will remove over 99 percent of tariffs between Canada and the EU and create new market opportunities for service providers and investors, still has to be approved by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.

Johnston said, “The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement represents a major step forward in bringing Canada and Poland into closer contact and increasing our shared prosperity. For Canada, it is our most ambitious trade initiative ever, broader in scope than even the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

Johnston said that the successful negotiations on the treaty were “a reflection of our shared commitment to strengthening trade and economic ties and to advancing economic sustainability and growth for EU nations and for Canada.

The already excellent relationship between Poland and Canada is evidenced by the very good trade results.”

Bilateral trade between Canada and Poland reached U.S. $1.7 billion last year. In the first nine months of 2014, bilateral trade was 127 percent up on the same period last year, Johnston added.

“That is an impressive figure, and our activities in sectors such as aerospace, transportation, mining, oil and gas, sustainable technologies and information and communication technology will continue to extend our collaboration.” Canadian products can be found throughout Poland, including trams used in Cracow that are manufactured by Montreal-based company Bombardier.

Between 2012 and 2014, Polish companies KGHM and Orlen Upstream made large investments in Canada in the mining, and oil and gas sectors.

While in Poland, Johnston and his wife Sharon attended a formal dinner hosted in their honor by Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, a lunch held by the Polish Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a reception for the Friends of Canada organization hosted by the Canadian ambassador to Poland, Alexandra Bugailiskis, at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Johnston noted the close people-to-people ties that exist between Canada and Poland. Nearly one million Canadians have Polish roots, and Polish immigrants to Canada have made a contribution in fields ranging from science to hockey, music and politics.

Jolanta Wolska
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