A priority field for the development of bilateral economic cooperation between Romania and Canada is the energy industry. Specifically, reaching the table of Romanian authorities is the proposal of Canada’s Hydro-Québec to invest in the field of power production and transmission grid in Romania.
Romanian Minister for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship Stefan-Radu Oprea on March 26 met in Bucharest with H.E. Kevin Hamilton, Ambassador of Canada to Romania, and H.E. Stéphane Dion, Ambassador of Canada to Germany, special envoy to Europe of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On this occasion, the Romanian diplomat appreciated the excellent bilateral relations between Romania and Canada, appreciating the advantages provided to the business environment by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA), which has already brought an increase in Community exports to Canada, as well as new business opportunities for EU companies, with a focus on SMEs. Priority in cooperation between the two countries is also held by the aeronautical industry, the naval industry – with the supply of equipment, components and spare parts, the textile industry, the wood and the food industries.
“CETA has led to the elimination of 98% of customs duties for Romanian exporters and importers, the opening of the Canadian services market for Romanian companies, the opportunity to participate in tenders for public contracts in Canada, the protection of Romanian creativity and research, the encouragement of investments between Romania and Canada, facilitating the access of Romanians with high qualifications to the Canadian market,” Stefan-Radu Oprea said.
The Minister also talked about Romania’s priorities during the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the commercial field. He highlighted the modernization of the World Trade Organization, the commercial relations between the European Union and the U.S., the advance and conclusion of commercial negotiations with third states (especially with strategic partners such as the South-American trading block Mercosur, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam etc.), as well as commercial aspects on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union.
CETA is the most ambitious trade agreement between the EU and Canada, which reduces taxes and facilitates the export of goods and services, an agreement that benefits individuals and businesses in both the EU and Canada. More than 300 Romanian companies export to Canada, many of them being small and medium enterprises; Canada is the third non-EU partner for trade services. Romania’s economic and trade relations with Canada are based on interests in the export of products such as: steel bars, electrical machinery and equipment, knitwear, rubber, furniture, wines and alcoholic beverages, bio foods, equipment and subassemblies for the aeronautics industry, shipbuilding and ship repair, IT-specific products, oil machinery and spare parts, hydraulic turbine components, as well as pottery and porcelain products, glass products, footwear, clothing and pharmaceuticals. The main categories of products imported by Romania from Canada are: mineral products, aircraft, machinery and appliances, electrical equipment and chemical industry products.
Hydro-Québec is a Canadian company producing and distributing electricity and is owned by the Government in Québec. Hydro-Québec has an annual revenue of approximately EUR 10bn and about 20,000 employees. According to information on its own website, Hydro-Québec is one of the largest energy producers in the world.