Press release 110/2014
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will participate in the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) in Brussels on Thursday 8 May. The main topics of the meeting will include the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, the free trade talks with Japan, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) work programme, and liberalisation of trade in so-called ’green goods’.The free trade negotiations between the EU and Canada (CETA, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) are on the homestretch. If agreement is reached on the last issues remaining unresolved before Thursday, the Ministers will be presented with the final negotiation results. The free trade agreement between the EU and Canada would mean lifting of duties on approximately 99 per cent of products immediately or within a specific transition period.
In the free trade talks with Japan, particular attention will be paid to non-tariff barriers and public procurement. The EU is striving for a comprehensive and ambitious agreement with Japan in a rapid schedule.The ministers will also discuss the results of the WTO’s Bali Ministerial Meeting and further action. The EU aim is to reach an agreement on the work programme for continuing the Doha Round of negotiations by the end of this year. Finland’s view is that the schedule for the adoption of the agreement on trade facilitation measures in particular must be adhered to. Finland also underscores conclusion of the negotiations concerning expansion of the Information Technology Agreement during this year. The expansion of the agreement would open up new export opportunities for the Finnish industry.
In their meeting, the ministers are also expected to take a decision on the launch of negotiations on the multilateral Green Goods Initiative, which aims to eliminate tariffs on goods that protect the environment and combat climate change. The negotiations aim at liberalising trade on, for example, renewable and clean energy solutions, wastewater treatment technologies, and environmental monitoring equipment. Finland aims at an ambitious final outcome that would include an extensive list of products and, to the extent possible, environmental services and non-tariff barriers.In addition, the Ministers will exchange views on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The fifth round of negotiations will be held in Washington, D.C., on 19−23 May 2014.
Additional information: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser to Minister Stubb, tel. +358 295 351 778; and Jukka Pesola, Head of Trade Policy Unit; tel. +358 295 351 029