BRUSSELS, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and Canada have agreed to build a strategic partnership on raw materials, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference following a summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, von der Leyen said raw materials such as critical minerals and metals were indispensable for the European green and digital transitions.
Canada and the EU also agreed to launch an EU-Canada dialogue on health where both sides will share expertise, lessons learned and best practices to be better prepared and work closely together on these issues.
On vaccines to fight the coronavirus, von der Leyen said the EU will ensure an uninterrupted export of vaccines to Canada, which is the bloc's top-four export destination for COVID-19 vaccines.
The two sides also agreed to continue their partnership under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including signing a mutual recognition agreement to facilitate the transfer of goods across borders and speed up the flow of trade.
On the subject of COVID-19 vaccine patents, European Council President Charles Michel told the same press conference that waiving patents "will not magically solve everything in the short term," stressing instead that vaccine production should be increased and diversified.
In a joint statement following the summit, both sides pledged to work together on ending the COVID-19 pandemic and driving an equitable and sustainable global recovery, fighting climate change and protecting the environment, harnessing the potential of trade, technology and innovation, and promoting shared democratic values and international peace and security.
Trudeau said Canada will continue contributing to get the vaccines as quickly as possible to as many countries around the world to bring an end to the pandemic, "rebuild our economies and keep our people safe."