CETA entered into force provisionally on September 21, 2017, meaning that most of the agreement is now in force. On 26 March 2014, Federal Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel wrote an open letter to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, in which he said that investment protection was a central sensitive issue that could ultimately decide whether a transatlantic free trade agreement would be approved by Germany. He also noted that there was no need for investment arbitration procedures between countries with well-developed legal systems. 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. On October 18, 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso signed an agreement in principle. Negotiations ended on 1 August 2014.  The trade agreement was formally presented on September 25, 2014 by Harper and Barroso at an EU-Canada summit at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.  The Canada Europe Roundtable for Business has served as a parallel trade process from the inception to the end of the CETA negotiations. Article: Promoting international trade and removing barriers With 82.4 million people, Germany is the largest country in the European Union (EU).