The Slovenia Times

Ministry: Despite lack of direct benefits, CETA beneficial


"Given its strong dependence on the economic situation in the EU, Slovenia may expect indirect positive effects as a result of an improvement in the economic situation of the EU," the ministry said in its response to a question put by a coalition opposing secretive treaties.

The coalition, which also fights against similar deal with the US, known as TTIP, and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiated in the World Trade Organisation, questioned Slovenia's support for CETA after a study had shown it would have negligible effects on the Slovenian economy.

"The study of potential effects indeed does indicate negligible effects of CETA for Slovenia," the ministry said. Effects on some sectors are even projected to be negative, but these are minimal (0-0.07% in a decade) and offset by the positive effects on other sectors, which are minimal as well.

"The agreement does not change the rules on imports of genetically-modified organisms" (GMO), while "talks on possible changes are still ongoing as part of legal redacting" of the Investor-state dispute settlement.

The ministry also underscores that Canadian indirect investment in Slovenia amounted to half a million euros at the end of 2015, "which represents a 0.00005-percent share of all foreign direct investment in Slovenia".

The ministry notes that free-trade treaties are in sole discretion of the EU and that Slovenia can only represent its interests indirectly through working bodies. "The decision to make the agreement with Canada has been taken at the level of the whole EU, which expects positive effects."

These include abolishment of custom duties, harmonisation of technical rules to facilitate European car exports to Canada, liberalisation of trade in services with the exception of public services, easing labour migration and the opening of the Canadian public procurement market for EU businesses.

Studies have also shown that CETA will make Slovenian exports to Canada somewhat more competitive, the ministry says.

"There is untapped potential for the food industry and to increase direct exports of services in the car industry, where it will be easier to use the opportunities because exports will be driven by foreign car companies which are supplied by Slovenian businesses."

The Coalition against Secretive Deals said that CETA "brings no economic growth, opens the doors widely to multinationals to be able to sue Slovenia whenever they please, and to export their GMO goodies to our store shelves".

The group cited the findings of a study on the potential effects of CETA conducted by the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics Business Excellence Centre.

The analysis pinpointed the potentially positive effects would benefit seven out of 20 business sectors in Slovenia, the most paper and wood industries, while potentially negative impacts could affect 13 industries. Potential effects on job creation would be minimal.


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