Belgium hopes for EU-Canada trade pact backing this week

EU leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday and are due to discuss trade on Friday.

By: Reuters | Luxembourg | Published:October 18, 2016 2:15 pm

The Belgian federal government h opes it can persuade regional authorities to back its approval of an EU-Canada free trade deal by the time EU leaders meet at a Brussels summit this week, its trade minister said on Tuesday.

“We are continuing to work with certain regions,” Didier Reynders told reporters on arrival at a meeting of EU trade ministers in Luxembourg. He noted that the French-speaking region of Wallonia was the main bar to Belgium giving a green light to a deal approved by the other 27 EU states and Canada.

“I hope that by the time of the summit at the end of the week we’ll be in a position to allow things to go ahead,” said Reynders, who is also foreign minister. EU leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday and are due to discuss trade on Friday.