The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) approved by the Lithuanian parliament last week and due to be ratified in July will consolidate Lithuania's relations with Canada and reduce trade and investment obstacles, says Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
Canadian and the EU flags
© AP / Scanpix

Meanwhile, some MPs fear that CETA may pave way for genetically modified organisms to enter Lithuania.

"The benefits for Lithuania are clear: it will improve the access of our goods and services to the Canadian market, enable Lithuanian companies to take part in public procurement tenders in Canada, improve trade conditions and exports to Canada, contribute to the creation of new jobs and economic development in Lithuania. This is particularly important for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Lithuania will be able to exports goods to Canada without imports duties and with shorter paperwork, consequently shorter time costs. We think this should benefit Lithuania's textile, clothing, furniture and food product exporters," Linkevičius said in his presentation of the agreement at the parliament.

In his words, liberalization of customs duties alone will allow Lithuanian exporters to save over 1 million euros in customs fees per year.

According to data available to the Foreign Ministry, Lithuania's exports to Canada were last year four times bigger than imports. Out of the 150 Lithuanian companies exporting to Canada, 80 percent are small- and medium-sized, with 2,500 jobs in Lithuania directly dependent on exports to Canada.

The European Parliament approved CETA on February 15 this year.

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