World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Parliament has approved on Wednesday the Canada-EU free trade deal.
By 408 votes to 254 with 33 abstentions, MEPs voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It could already provisionally apply starting April.
The agreement -- which came through after seven years of negotiations -- was formally signed in October 2016 following last-minute opposition from the Belgian region of Wallonia.
The deal was put in jeopardy after the Wallonian region refused to agree to the terms, worried that cheaper goods from Canada would hurt the farming and labor sectors, as well as lessen environmental and consumer standards.
For all parts of the deal to come into effect, it has to be approved by national and regional parliaments, as well as MEPs.
During Wednesday’s debate, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told MEPs the deal would strengthen both the EU's economic links and "geopolitical alliance" with Canada.
Malmstrom said CETA would save European exporters millions of euros in tariff fees, and would allow both partners to set rules that will "shape globalization".
French National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen claimed the "terrible" agreement will undermine thousands of jobs in Europe and eliminate the rights of governments to legislate.
Leader of the center-right EPP group, German Christian Democrat MEP Manfred Weber, praised the deal. "We don't want to build walls, we want to build bridges", he said.
The deal cuts tariffs on 99 percent of trade goods, allows EU firms to bid for public contracts in Canada and opens up Canadian services market to EU companies.
In 2015, EU-Canada trade accounted for more than €60 billion ($63.4 billion) and CETA is expected to boost this by 20 percent, according to the EP website.
Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index exceeds 93,400 points during Monday transactions
The French vote was being closely watched as a bellwether for populist sentiment following the election of Donald Trump as US president and Britain's vote to leave the EU.
IFC CEO Philippe Le Houerou said the fund will "lower the risk for the private sector and attract new investors -- essentially creating a market where there was none."
BIST 100 index opens 0.67 percent higher, US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at around 3.64
Tightening monetary policies will continue to achieve lower inflation levels, Murat Cetinkaya says
Company will manage operations in 65 countries through Turkey, says head of healthcare group
"We might have to extend in order to reach the target... of stock levels," Khalid al-Falih told an energy forum in Abu Dhabi, referring to a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day.
BIST 100 index opens 0.40 percent higher; US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at around 3.66
Crude prices plummet to two-and-a-half month low
Businesses in Turkey expect structural reforms following referendum, says rating agency
"We are optimistic that the policy measures we have taken already place us on the path of recovery," OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said at an energy forum in Abu Dhabi.
The IMF said "hundreds of millions" of people have been lifted out of poverty through economic integration and technological progress, "helping to reduce global income inequality."
In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF cut its 2017 growth forecast for the region comprising the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan to 2.6 percent, down from the 3.1 percent projected in January.
BIST 100 index opens 0.20 percent lower, US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at around 3.69
It is now time to make progress by preserving freedoms, pluralism and solidarity: Turkey's largest business association