The governments of Canada and India are negotiating a ‘Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’ which they seek to conclude in 2013. By May 2012, five rounds of negotiations had taken place. This agreement is wideranging and negotiations have included rules of origin, trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and trade in services, including temporary entry for business persons, telecommunications, and financial services. According to unnamed official sources, India is likely to exclude an investor-state dispute clause in its FTAs.
last update: May 2012
New Delhi says it will not result in a balanced outcome.
Sitharaman clarified that the negotiation should not get lost in peripheral issues and should focus on bringing in promotion and protection elements.
Canada is throwing its weight behind an early “progressive” bilateral investment treaty with India before it concludes a bilateral free trade agreement to ensure a stable and predictable environment for its investors.
Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne is expected to accelerate the negotiation process of the proposed free trade pact with India.
But Ottawa’s stance on model investment treaty has New Delhi worried
A successful conclusion of FIPA will provide a much-needed cover for Canadian investments in India and vice versa, and is expected to be an important catalyst in translating the announcements into reality.
New Delhi examining whether dispute settlement mechanism can be tweaked
The Liberals’ relative flexibility on investor-state dispute systems and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and an expected visit to India by the PM, may help to move talks along.
On Canada’s insistance, India is expected to sign a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Canada based on an old text, not its new model BIT. The old text contains contentious provisions such as the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
Canada’s government has officially re-opened negotiations with India over a bilateral investment treaty the two sides nearly agreed upon almost a decade ago.