Canada has said it is looking to grow an “even-closer” relationship with Spain under the Canada-Spain Cooperation Agenda.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez met this week and approved the Canada-Spain Cooperation Agenda – an agreement to collaborate more closely to create economic growth, beneficial climate change, advance gender equality “and build a safer, more peaceful world,” a statement released by the PM of Canada’s office read.

As part of the Agenda, the prime ministers underlined their commitment to free trade and highlighted how the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is creating good, middle-class jobs and new opportunities for businesses in both countries.

CETA came into force last September and saw the removal of duties on 98% of products – including textiles and clothing – traded between the two. Another 1% of tariff lines will be eliminated over a period of up to seven years.

CETA is expected to save EU businesses EUR590m (US695m) a year in tariffs on goods exported to Canada. For the European textile sector, it will mean an end to the duties of up to 18% that were previously imposed by Canada.

In 2017, Canada’s merchandise exports to Spain totalled nearly CAD1.7bn (US$1.3bn) and merchandise imports from Spain reached $2.8 billion, making Spain Canada’s seventh-largest merchandise trading partner in the EU.

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At yesterday’s meeting, the leaders approved the Declaration in Favour of Gender Equality, which outlines actions to tackle persistent gender inequalities and meet the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both countries will redouble their efforts to end gender-based violence, take action to reduce gender wage gaps, and encourage the participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

“It was a pleasure welcoming Prime Minister Sánchez to Montreal, where we laid the groundwork for even closer collaboration between our two countries,” says Trudeau. “Canada and Spain will continue to work together to combat climate change, advance gender equality, and build a more peaceful, secure world while creating new jobs and opportunities for people on both sides of the Atlantic.”