Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, today announced the launch of negotiations to expand and modernize the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), a cornerstone of the commercial relationship between the two countries. The announcement was made during an official visit by Prime Minister Harper to Israel.
An expanded and modernized CIFTA will enhance bilateral commercial flows by reducing technical barriers, enhancing cooperation, increasing transparency in regulatory matters and reducing transaction costs for businesses. In the area of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, a modernized agreement will provide new mechanisms to increase cooperation and resolve market access irritants more expeditiously. This initiative will also create new opportunities for Canadian agriculture, agri-food, and fish and seafood companies in the Israeli market. The first round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in Israel from February 3-9, 2014.
- CIFTA is a cornerstone of Canada’s commercial relationship with Israel.
- The Agreement came into force on January 1, 1997, and amendments were brought into force on November 1, 2003, to implement further tariff concessions on agricultural and fish and seafood products.
- Since CIFTA came into force, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Israel has more than doubled.
“Our Government is committed to providing Canadian businesses with the market access they need to compete and succeed internationally. An expanded and modernized trade agreement with Israel will generate more jobs and economic growth at home and in Israel, while strengthening the close friendship that both countries enjoy.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper