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"What the EU-Canada Comprehensive CETA Agreement means to the Waterloo Region?"  

-from the desk of John G. Jung, CEO

CTT Inc. was honoured by a visit by the Honourable Minister Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, who announced the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in our office in Kitchener last October. As Minister Finley said:

"This historic agreement is Canada's most ambitious ever, and is a big win for workers and families in Southwestern Ontario, particularly in the advanced manufacturing, ICT and agricultural industries."

That announcement in CTT's office was followed by an opportunity for me to represent Invest Canada and the  CCCA (Consider Canada City Alliance) in Europe in November as our focus, especially presenting the business case of the EU-Canada CETA at a breakfast of Dutch Leaders and later in Amsterdam at a public event with Jayson Myers, CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

Promoting the agreement to European leaders is highly useful, but more importantly, so is ensuring that our community understands the opportunity and develops a strategy on how to take advantage of it when it's signed less than two years from now. Other than some media on the topic, very little strategic discussion is flowing about the importance of this agreement at events and meetings locally. However, recently at a CTT event promoting messaging about the Waterloo Region among our local ambassador community, I raised the following idea to the ambassadors: that it is essential that we leverage this agreement by pulling together a local strategy to take advantage of the CETA agreement.

The Canada-EU CETA is one of the most important economic development opportunities since the US-Canada Free Trade Act, now over 27 years old. Canada and the Waterloo Region will have a tremendous advantage over other countries around the world, including the United States, as we will have access to over 850 Million consumers through NAFTA and the EU-Canada CETA agreement. But the advantage may be time limited as the USA will not be too far behind by a few years.

Developing the strategy should be undertaken now, even before the final agreement is signed so that when it is, we can move forward immediately and not wait months or years. This was part of my message when I appeared before the Standing Committee on International Trade (CIIT) of the House of Commons on February 13, 2014 in Ottawa on this topic. Hopefully, it will be raised as part of local discussion when opportunities arise.

Accordingly, CTT Inc. will host a discussion focused on this Agreement in our inaugural new FDI and international thought leadership speakers series called "Third Tuesdays". That's right- on a third Tuesday of a month; we will host a focused discussion on topics that impact Foreign Direct Investment in the Region as well as topics related to promotion of this Region internationally and major global topics of impact to the Regional economy.


EU-CANADA CETA AGREEMENT - What Does It mean For You?


  • Jayson Myers, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

The benefits that the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement will bring to this Region will be immense. Once in force, the Canada-EU trade agreement, together with NAFTA, will give our Region's businesses preferential access to the two largest, most developed and most sophisticated economies in the world - the United States and Europe. The opportunities are huge - a market almost fifteen times the size of Canada's economy. It will do more to transform our local and national economy than any agreement since NAFTA, representing a market of 500 million consumers in 28 European countries with $17 trillion in economic activity.

Once it comes into force, the agreement will immediately eliminate 98 percent of all tariffs; help to improve general export conditions through measures that ease regulatory barriers; reinforce intellectual property rights; and ensure more transparent rules for market access. But there may be some people and organizations locally who may feel that we may not be able to compete with some of these European countries once the floodgates are opened. We should hear from them as well, to understand better our local businesses issues.

While Canadian businesses stand to benefit, so will Canadian consumers. Looking for a less expensive BMW? Well this will be your time to get one! There will be more choice in consumer products - and with more competition usually comes better prices and service. Additional benefits are perceived to be in the HR environment with access to larger pools of skilled talent on both sides of the pond.

This "3rd Tuesday" event on March 18th is your chance to get an in-depth look at the agreement with a key individual who not only has been involved in the process for many years to get to this point, but, more importantly for you, has the answers to your important questions on this agreement.

Increase Wellness to Increase Your Bottom Line
In a recent study of over 1,000 small business owners, 93 percent said the health of their employees is important to their business's bottom line. Surprisingly, and unfortunately, only a mere 22 percent currently have a wellness program in place.

This was one of the many eye-opening findings of a joint research effort by Humana Inc, one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, and the National Small Business Increase Wellness to Increase Your Bottom LineAssociation (NSBA).  


Their report goes on to say that, while most small businesses don't offer health and wellness programs to their employees, three of four that offer such programs do find the initiatives have a positive impact on net revenue.


Small business owners believe that a healthy workforce is good for business. So why isn't more being done? As it turns out, there are a few barriers. These include resources to administer such programs, the fear of singling out employees, and, the answer that ranked highest on the survey's list, lack of employee interest.


Overcome these barriers, however, and you'll begin to see a difference. Studies show that employees who are involved in workplace wellness programs tend to need fewer sick days over the course of the year. They also sleep better at night, leading to better relationships within the company and higher levels of productivity. All in all, spending a little bit to improve employee health can pay for itself over the course of the year, and the return can often be larger than the investment. With that in mind, how is your business/workplace addressing worker wellness?


While wellness programs can have a dramatic impact on employee health, so can the workplace itself. Sitting, staring into a monitor, and using a keyboard for long stretches without a break will, at the very least, stress your body in ways that affect your performance. To learn more how your office can contribute to overall wellness, read about The Health-Positive Office. 



By Peter Boak, President, Prestige Business Interiors

Food for thought, and investment

The joint Canada's Technology Triangle Inc. and Canada's Technology for Food initiative is full steam ahead with collaborative opportunities in the Netherlands.   Specifically in Brainport Eindhoven, we're building the framework for a strategic collaborative alliance that encompasses many different industry sectors but also hones in on food processing and technology optimization in food production. We're investigating the strength and viability of these two regions and looking for evidence to support academic and industry-related collaborative opportunities needed to build a consortia of partners to help further strengthen each region's current food processing industry. The agrofood sector in the Netherlands has a turnover of €63 billion making up more than 10% of their GDP. Of the 25 largest Dutch companies, 8 are in the food sector, including Heineken, Unilever, Friesland Campina and Vion. Working closely with Brainport's Food Tech Park, University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and Canada's Technology for Food, we are confident that we'll be able to leverage R&D projects, encourage 2-way trade, foreign investment and support commercialization of technologies in both regions.


By Catherine Bischoff, Sr. Business & Marketing Analyst, CTT Inc.

Regional Economic News 
  • 2013 was another record-breaking year for passenger traffic. A total of 138,733 passengers  travelled through the air terminal building, which is a 15 per cent increase over 2012.
  • Passengers can travel non-stop daily to Calgary, Chicago and Ottawa with service available to over 250 destinations in over 40 countries. Weekly direct service to Cancun, Mexico.

  • CETA gives Canadian businesses preferential access to the planet's single largest marketplace. EU member countries generate almost $US 17 trillion of GDP. It is home to some 500 million consumers and some of the most advanced and successful global companies. Canada compares to the EU in roughly the same proportion as California compares with the US and Canadian economies combined. 

40% of all commercial airline landing gear Made in Ontario 

  • Ontario's skilled labor force includes a deep pool of manufacturing specialists who know not only aerospace in general - but also landing gear, specifically. Many of the world's top landing-gear manufacturers locate in Ontario to access this labor force, including Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, UTC Aerospace (formerly Goodrich), Héroux Devtek - and Sumitomo group.

Ontario Opens new business office in Brazil 

  • Opening a new business office in Sao Paulo, the purpose of which is to boost trade and investment between Brazil and Ontario.
  • Ontario does about $3 billion a year in bilateral trade with Brazil. There are around 80 Brazil-based companies in Ontario, including Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world.

Federal budget provides funding to create Open Data Institute

  • The Open Data Institute will work with governments, academic institutions and the private sector to solve challenges facing Open Government efforts and realize the full potential of Open Data.