REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Oct. 30, 2013) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food and regional minister for Saskatchewan, today underscored how farmers, workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout Saskatchewan will greatly benefit from the Canada-European Union trade agreement. An agreement-in-principle for this historic deal was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on October 18, 2013. Minister Ritz met with Loblaw executives in Regina today to discuss the benefits of this agreement and tour their facility at the Global Transportation Hub.
"The province of Saskatchewan stands to benefit significantly from this historic agreement," said Minister Ritz. "The EU is already Saskatchewan's third-largest trading partner and export destination. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Saskatchewan's key exports and provide access to new market opportunities in the EU."
Saskatchewan is home to Canada's largest grain-producing region, and agriculture and agri-food is the province's leading economic sector, accounting for 7 percent of GDP in 2012. Of the 43,400 Saskatchewanians employed in the sector, 10 percent work in manufacturing and processing. With long-standing agricultural expertise, Saskatchewan has become the world's largest exporter of goods such as lentils, peas and mustard seed, and it supplies 10 percent of the world's wheat.
"When our agreement with the European Union is fully implemented, over 95 percent of tariffs on Canada's high-quality agricultural products will be eliminated," added Minister Ritz. "This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase sales will benefit hard-working folks in Saskatchewan through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity."
EU tariffs will be eliminated on grains, including oats, barley and rye; wheat, including durum; oils, including canola oil; and processed goods, including food preparations and processed pulses and grains, such as baked goods, pulse flour, meal and powder.
"Our government is focused on what matters to all Canadians: creating new jobs and new opportunities," said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. "The Canada-EU trade agreement will generate substantial gains across all key economic sectors, covering every region of Canada. In fact, Canada will be one of the only developed countries to have preferential access to the world's two largest markets: the European Union and the United States. The competitive edge and combined access to these markets-and their more than 800 million affluent consumers-will make Canada the envy of trading nations worldwide. It will also make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and manufacturers, and this in turn will create thousands of new jobs and new opportunities for Canadians."
For more information on how the Canada-EU trade agreement will benefit Saskatchewan, please visit Benefits for Saskatchewan.
For more information on the vast benefits of this agreement to every region of Canada, please visit actionplan.gc.ca/CETA.
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade