The Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce believes that there is little likelihod of the EU-Canada free trade treaty CETA opening a market comparable in size with the missing Russian market to the Estonian food industry, daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote.
According to Roomet Sõrmus, head of the chamber, CETA may open up new opportunities for Estonian food producers, however he would not consider Canada an alternative market to Russia as suggested in a recent interview with the newspaper by Signe Ratso, director at the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade.
Sõrmus told the paper that in the case of fresh dairy exports, for example, Canada's heavy customs duties would still apply while Canada in turn would be able to freely export its dairy products to Europe under the new agreement.
Estonian exports of agricultural and food products to Canada have been modest in recent years. Statistics Estonia data shows that only 5.2 million euros' worth of food products was exported to Canada during the first ten months of 2016, the daily noted.
"I believe that concluding a free trade treaty with Canada is positive and will open up new opportunities for our food industry businesses as well, but in the context of our relatively modest trade thus far, I wouldn't venture to regard Canada as an alternative market to Russia," Sõrmus told the paper.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla