The 8 key benefits that CETA provides for European and Canadian SMEs are as follows:
Goods (e.g. tariffs) – CETA removes 98% of all tariffs that were previously in place. This will save companies billions in euros/dollars and allows SMEs a much easier and more competitive entry into each other’s respective markets. Consumers, on the other hand, benefit from more competition and a broader choice of products.
Labour mobility – CETA introduced a concept called Temporary Entry. This makes it easier for short-term business visitors, intra-company transferees, investors, contract service suppliers, and independent professionals to conduct business in Canada and vice versa.
Investment – The trade agreement removed caps for foreign investments. It further allows EU investors to transfer their capital in Canada back to the EU, and vice versa. In addition, CETA established predictable rules that govern and protect investments. For example, CETA prohibits Canada from discriminating against EU investors in favour of Canadian investors or investors from a third country. Investors also enjoy increased protection from expropriation or the nationalisation of their investments.
Public Procurement – EU companies are now able to bid on Canadian public contracts and vice versa.
Services – Whenever people think about trade agreements, physical goods often come to mind first. However, CETA also significantly reduces cross-border restrictions on trading services. Services make up three-quarters of Europe's economy. The fact that many of them are now easily exportable to Canada creates manifold new opportunities for European SMEs.
Conformity Assessment – The CETA Protocol on Conformity Assessment establishes a framework for the acceptance, by Canada and the EU, of product certifications/testing in certain product categories by recognised bodies in the other party. This means that a designated conformity assessment body in the EU can test EU products for export to Canada according to Canadian rules and vice versa. This will dramatically reduce costs of doing business and will be particularly helpful to SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications – CETA has created a framework that would allow Canada to recognise professional qualifications earned in the EU and vice versa. This means that professionals, such as accountants, architects, and engineers on both sides of the Atlantic could practise in each other's territory. CETA has assigned the relevant professional bodies and authorities in the EU and Canada to negotiate a proposal on so-called mutual recognition that can then be integrated into CETA.
Environmental Protection – The trade agreement also includes a chapter on the environment. The parties committed to help ensure that trade and environmental protection are mutually supportive and reinforcing. CETA ensures that domestic environmental laws can be enforced and that the parties will promote public awareness and transparency for those laws. CETA also aims to advance sustainable resource management and includes a general commitment to maintain high environmental standards