On Friday 29 January Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Brussels.
The meeting was focused on the content of the trade and investment deal with the United States knowns as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Regarding to this, the Minister thanked the Commissioner for her commitment and the unprecedented efforts of communication and exchange of information on TTIP.
The Commissioner recently made several visits to the different Belgian parliamentary assemblies, at the federal, regional and community level in order to address various questions related to this issue. Since January 26th, relevant members of these assemblies also have access to a reading room in the FPS Foreign Affairs for the consolidated texts.
Minister Reynders reiterated the priorities defended by Belgium within the TTIP. He stressed the importance of ensuring maximum transparency in trade negotiations, as well for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Also, next steps were discussed regarding the free trade agreement with Canada (CETA). The Minister plans to organize, before the summer, an event bringing together Belgian and Canadian firms on this issue.
Finally, Minister Reynders and Commissioner Malmström agreed on the need for a sound approach at both economic and legal level, regarding the possible granting of market economy status to China, a sensitive issue for many sectors of the Belgian economy, in particular for the steel industry.