Minister Fast Applauds Conclusion of Enhanced Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement

July 21, 2015

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International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Finance Minister Joe Oliver applauded the announcement earlier today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that negotiations toward an expanded and modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) have concluded. The ministers were joined by business leaders and members of the Canadian Jewish community at the DMZ at Ryerson University in Toronto to celebrate the occasion.

The modernized CIFTA adds seven new chapters and improves four existing chapters to bring this agreement up to 21st century standards. CIFTA notably provides expanded market access opportunities for agricultural, fish and seafood products through the elimination or reduction of Israeli tariffs on a large number of Canadian products and duty-free access under tariff rate quotas for certain products. The modernized agreement will boost economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadian businesses, workers and their families.

This robust agreement will support Canadian businesses and investors, deepen trade and investment linkages and further strengthen Canada’s bilateral relationship with Israel.

Quick Facts

  • Israel is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
  • The modernized CIFTA will be the cornerstone of Canada’s commercial relationship with Israel.
  • Since CIFTA came into force in 1997, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Israel has tripled.
  • Key opportunities for Canadian companies exist in sectors such as defence, information and communications technology, life sciences, sustainable technologies, agriculture and agri-food, and fish and seafood.
  • The modernized CIFTA will provide expanded market access opportunities for Canadian businesses through the elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Quotes

“Israel is a priority market for Canada and holds great potential for Canadian companies in a variety of sectors. An enhanced free trade agreement will strengthen an already stellar relationship between our two countries, creating jobs and opportunities for both our peoples.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“Canada and Israel are the most natural of economic partners. This agreement will fuel job creation and economic growth in both of our countries, which is in Canada’s national interest. It is also another example of our government’s unwavering commitment to the future of the State of Israel.”

– Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance