TORONTO, April 27, 2012 /CNW/ - As Canada inches towards a free trade agreement with Europe, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the federal government to move quickly to finalize a deal that will help the country's small businesses to grow and create jobs.
A recent survey by the CFIB found that just over half of small businesses who currently do business in Europe plan to increase the amount of goods and services they buy and sell across the Atlantic over the next three years. In particular, they are motivated by the prospects of improving global economic conditions and helping to grow their business.
But trading with Europe is not without its share of frustrations. Major challenges facing small businesses when trading with European nations include:
- fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar (67 per cent);
- costs associated with buying or selling, such as the cost of shipping (45 per cent);
- high tariffs and/or duties (28 per cent); and,
- having to deal with different rules/standards in each country (21 per cent).
For these reasons many small business owners who currently trade with Europe are hopeful about the discussions around Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and, in particular, around the positive reaction from government to CFIB's calls for an agreement that addresses the harmonization of regulations, simplification of the border processes, and reduction of paperwork.
"Trade with Europe is an important part of my business. I want to continue trading there, and smoothing out some of the challenges my business faces, like complying with several sets of regulations and completing paperwork, will really help."
Brian Creber, President of B-Con Engineering Inc.
"Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses have always favoured freer trading arrangements," said CFIB president Catherine Swift. "We therefore welcome CETA as it will make it easier for these firms to take advantage of opportunities in the enormous European market."
For a copy of CFIB's Canada-European Trade and SMEs report, please visit www.cfib.ca
As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.
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For further information or to arrange an interview with Catherine Swift contact Meghan Carrington at 416-222-8022 or via firstname.lastname@example.org