October 1, 2022

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Olaf Scholz on a trip to Canada to build a “network of trust” – EURACTIV Italia

Relations between Canada and Germany, two G7 countries and NATO members, have had ups and downs. In the past, Berlin has implicitly opposed parts of the EU-Canada trade agreement known as CETA. More recently, the German government facilitated the delivery of a turbine to Ottawa, which Gazprom said is critical to maintaining the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that carries Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

In July, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach warned Ottawa of “popular uprisings” if Canada did not send a Siemens-made Gazprom turbine to Canada for maintenance. Ultimately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government intervened in the matter, with a senior German official saying it was “not an easy decision in terms of domestic politics”.

With the ratification of CETA expected in the fall, Scholz is optimistic that a new chapter in relations between Germany and Canada will open. The goal is deeper cooperation in trade, energy and resources. “We want to establish a reliable network of industrial cooperation that takes advantage of the competitive advantages of Canada and Germany,” Scholz told the Canadian newspaper. The Globe and Mail Last August 1st.

On the job, Scholz is accompanied by his right-hand man, Economy Minister Robert Habeck (leader of the Greens with Berbock) and heads of German industry to show Berlin is serious. On his plane They were present CEOs and board members of giants such as Bayer, Siemens, VolksWagen, Mercedes-Benz, TÜV Nord and Uniper. German companies, which have been hit hard by COVID-19 and Russia’s war against Ukraine, hope to boost their operations thanks to the ratification of CETA. “This will provide a useful signal for open markets and rules-based trade in an overall difficult period for trade policy,” said Peter Adrian, president of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). Agency DPA.

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By the end of 2020, Germany was Seventh largest foreign investor in Canada, approximately $32 billion has been invested. “Canada is not only a trading partner, but also a close friend who shares many aspects of common values, human rights, etc.,” Habek said before leaving. This is the second time Scholes and his escort have traveled. The last occasion he saw was a meeting of the North Sea nations A political agreement For a massive increase in sea breezes over the ocean.

Energy partnership

Renewable energies and energy, in general, is another important point on the agenda, along with business and strengthening cooperation between Berlin and Ottawa. According to Scholes, “Canada will be a great energy partner. It’s LNG (liquefied natural gas, NDT), which is now of critical importance ».

For Germany, eager to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, importing liquefied natural gas is a priority. However, despite Canada World’s fourth largest gas producer, the ability to convert it into LNG is limited. Canadian companies are already building plants to improve the country’s poor export potential of this energy source, which worries environmentalists who fear the overuse of fossil fuels. According to a senior official, Berlin expects little gas from Ottawa in the next two years. However, as Germany intends to continue importing gas until 2030, a potential additional partner would not be bad.

In addition to fossil fuels, Germany hopes to export its Energiewende. Cooperation with Canada “extends to hydrogen and important minerals needed for the production of batteries or wind turbines,” Scholes said. Schalls and Habeck plan to sign a “hydrogen contract” during a visit to the small Newfoundland town of Stephenville. Canada’s Atlantic provinces’ enormous wind potential and proximity to Europe make them ideal for hydrogen production, a senior government official said. The goal of the agreement will be to activate the hydrogen market, share production technologies and create supply chains for this energy source between Canada and Germany.

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Mining

German Foreign Secretary Franziska Brantner, Habeck’s deputy leading the trade delegation, will also chair a round of exchanges on supply chains and raw materials resilience. “For a very long time we have been operating on the principle that we buy it where it’s cheap, mostly raw materials from China,” Brantner told EURACTIV last June. The change could cost Germany a lot of money, but experts believe it will still work.

“Mining minerals in Canada can be more expensive than in Russia or China, but German industry is willing to pay more in exchange for cooperation with a like-minded country.” Announced by Al The Globe and Mail Volker Dreyer, DIHK’s Director General of Foreign Trade.