The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is joining a ‘high-level’ mission to Canada as part of a strategy to increase exports of Scotch Whisky to the country.
The mission, led by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, follows MEPs voting in favour of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in February, which when implemented will bring a range of market access benefits and pave the way for further success by reducing the number of barriers to entry.
The visit provided a chance for the trade body to ensure the benefits of CETA would ”quickly become a reality” for Scotch Whisky, said SWA head of Americas market access, Siobhan Sellers.
“The market access improvements contained within CETA will contribute to the economic growth of not only the UK, but also of Europe as a whole,” she added.
Canada is Scotch Whisky’s fifteenth largest market, with exports worth around £74m by customs value a year, according to SWA.
And, with the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs in the UK and adding value of £5bn annually, any boost from CETA would be good for the entire UK economy and export success,” said Sellers.
Benefits of CETA for Scotch Whisky would, according to SWA, include fewer internal trading restrictions, a level playing field for intellectual property rights for EU products in Canada and removal of the market-distorting effects of the Canadian liquor boards.
In addition to the main objective of the mission, which is taking place now, the SWA said it would also take the opportunity to discuss with UK officials the need to ensure benefits obtained through EU negotiations were secured and act as a helpful benchmark to push for further trade liberalisation after Brexit.
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