The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, in the composition of Trade Ministers, will meet in Brussels on 31 May. Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will attend the meeting for Finland.
At their meeting the Trade Ministers will discuss the EU’s relations with its strategic partners. Finland is in favour of deepening trade relations with the United States in accordance with the Common EU policy. In addition to trade relations with the United States, the Ministers will discuss relations between the EU and Canada. Finland supports the conclusion of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Canada by the end of this year. The meeting will also discuss the opening of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan, on which Finland takes a positive stand. The agenda for the working lunch of the Council includes the EU’s relations with India and China. Finland seeks an ambitious and comprehensive agreement with India, and considers it important to strengthen trade and investment relations with China.
The Trade Ministers will also debate the effects of external economic relations on economic growth and employment, in preparation for the European Council meeting to take place in June. Finland stresses the importance of market transparency and gradual liberalisation of trade in order to sustain growth and assure jobs. Finland supports the Commission’s approach, which is based on the deepening of trade and investment relations with central trade partners.
The Ministers will also discuss the possibilities for promoting the liberalisation of trade in green technology products and services. Finland considers it important that the EU pays attention to green growth in free trade negotiations held with trade partners.
Of the other issues on the agenda, the Ministers will discuss Argentina and will hear the report of Denmark, the country holding the EU Presidency, about a decision on bilateral investment protection agreements and future changes in the EU’s customs benefit system.
Additional information: Antti Timonen, Press Attaché to the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, mobile tel. +358 40 590 7231, and Head of Unit Okko-Pekka Salmimies, mobile tel. +358 40 742 84 20