CETA is Canada`s largest bilateral initiative since NAFTA. It was launched as a result of a joint study “Assessing the Costs and Benefits of a Closer EU-Canada Economic Partnership” published in October 2008. Officials announced the opening of negotiations on May 6, 2009 at the Canada-EU Summit in Prague   At the conclusion of the Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa on March 18, 2004, at which the Heads of State and Government agreed on a framework for a new Canada-EU Trade and Investment Promotion Agreement (TIEA). TIEA should go beyond traditional market access issues and include areas such as trade and investment facilitation, competition, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, financial services, e-commerce, temporary access, small and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable development and the exchange of knowledge and technology. TIEA should also build on a regulatory cooperation framework between Canada and the EU to promote bilateral cooperation on the regulatory approach, promote best regulatory practices and facilitate trade and investment. In addition to removing barriers, TIEA is expected to increase Canadian and European interest in each other`s markets.  TIEA lasted until 2006, when Canada and the EU decided to halt negotiations. This has led to negotiations for a canada-EU trade agreement (later renamed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and this agreement, beyond TIEA, is in line with an agreement with a much broader and more ambitious scope. An agreement on the promotion and protection of foreign investment (FIPA) is an agreement to encourage foreign investment. Canada and the EU have a long history of economic cooperation. With 28 Member States with a total population of more than 500 million euros and a GDP of 13,000 billion euros in 2012, the European Union (EU) is the second largest domestic market in the world, foreign investors and traders. As an integrated bloc, the EU is Canada`s second largest trading partner in goods and services.
In 2008, Canadian exports of goods and services to the EU totaled $52.2 billion, an increase of 3.9% over 2007, and imports from the EU amounted to $62.4 billion.