On January 30, Opportunities NB (ONB) co-hosted a European Union Export Business Forum in Moncton. The event, CETA: Expanding Your Business Horizons, featured presentations on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the many market opportunities within the European Union.

ONB’s Export Development Team has collected four reasons why the province of New Brunswick is keeping a strong focus on export markets in the European Union.


CETA is a progressive trade agreement that upholds and promotes the values shared by Canada and the European Union. The agreement both deepens and broadens our ties with the 28 EU member states. CETA provides New Brunswick exporters with a strong competitive advantage over exporters from other countries that do not have a comparable EU free trade agreement.

Sanjeev Chowdhury, Director of the Free Trade Agreement Promotion Task Force with Global Affairs Canada, laid out the five most important benefits of CETA in a conversation with ONB on January 23. Read that interview here.

2. The EU is Canada’s second largest trade and investment partner

The EU is already New Brunswick’s second largest export destination and fourth largest trading partner. The implementation of CETA eliminates tariffs on almost all New Brunswick exports and provides access to new market opportunities in the EU. Over 300 New Brunswick companies have let ONB and our partners know they are interested in the EU.

Europe offers new markets for New Brunswick staples like seafood and agri-food products, with duty-free access for forestry and wood products.

3. The EU is the largest and most lucrative market in the world

The European Union’s 28 member states represent 500 million people and annual economic activity of approximately $17 trillion. It is the most lucrative market in the world and the largest importing market for goods.

4. Market diversification is essential

The United States is still the largest market for New Brunswick exporters. The uncertain status of the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) means now is the time to further diversify. With CETA implemented there is no better place for New Brunswick companies to do business than the EU. Market diversification helps our SMEs survive in tough economic times.

Export success in the EU does not happen overnight. It requires a long-term sustained market development effort by ONB, our partners, and our many interested exporters. Success in Europe will often mean multiple trips to develop the necessary relationships and networks to do business abroad. This can and will be highly rewarding for New Brunswick companies with Canada’s preferred access to the market.

ONB works to facilitate New Brunswick companies’ growth and market diversification efforts via a variety of services, including identification of market leads through trade missions and events. Find out where the ONB team is headed next by visiting our Events page.

Written by Jason Boies