More than 500 participants (60% Europeans and 40% from Canada), 50 speakers and more than 30 official partners from the European Union and Canada: these are the numbers that certified the success of the first edition of the CETA Business Forum, the online matching event organized by Malta Business Events with the support of main sponsor Air Canada, and dedicated to the development of relations and exchanges between companies, associations and institutions in the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) free trade area.
A large virtual reception hall welcomed visitors and exhibitors for two days of lectures, educational sessions, which are already available to all registered members in replay mode, as well as exhibitions and B2B meetings, which will continue from today until June 30, 2022.
The event was opened by Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary at the Canadian Ministry of International Trade, Export, Small Business and Economic Development, who emphasized the extraordinary opportunities that can arise from CETA for the European and Canadian economies, including with a view to revitalizing them after the difficult years of the global pandemic and the uncertainties of the present linked in particular to international geopolitical dynamics directly involving the Western world.
This was followed by conferences that touched on strategic sectoral issues for the business world, in the present and in the future, with a privileged look at the opportunities offered by the CETA trade agreement between the EU and Canada.
Among the topics discussed, ample space was reserved for innovation, sustainable development, women and youth. In particular, several specific and in-depth discussion panels (CETA Talk) were dedicated to Green Economy, Food and Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence and ICT, Blockchain, Creativity and Fashion, Automotive and Manufacturing, Women Entrepreneurs and Women in International Trade, Startups and Young Entrepreneurs, Training and Job Opportunities.
Meanwhile, participants also attended with great interest educational sessions to learn first-hand about the dynamics of trade between Europe and Canada and government procurement in both geographies, particularly for the construction sector, touching on the legal and economic aspects that shaped the CETA agreement and the concrete possibilities for growth that flow from it. Specific focuses were also reserved for business in Italy, Malta and Canada.
Between lectures, participants visited the exhibition area getting to know companies and event partners at their respective virtual booths, organized B2B meetings to plan new business relationships and strategic partnerships, and exchanged views and reflections in the exclusive “Networking Lounge” area.
Thus, an intense two days of meetings and insights was brought to a close, but the CETA Business Forum does not end here: the epositives and B2B area will remain active in the virtual platform until next June 30, 2022. In addition, participants will become part of the CETA Business Network, a permanent exchange platform to keep alive the relations between European and Canadian economic actors, who will be able to meet, finally also live, in the next edition of the CETA Business Forum.