Hindustan Times | 8 June 2022
Canada, India welcome progress in negotiations towards interim trade pact
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya
TORONTO: Canada and India have welcomed the progress in the second round of negotiations towards an interim trade pact.
The matter was discussed during a virtual meeting between Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.
The Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) was decided upon when Ng visited India this March. At the same time, the two countries “continue to work towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement”, a readout from Global Affairs Canada, Canada’s foreign ministry said.
It added that the ministers “discussed the status of negotiations on key issues, including trade in goods and services, and investment protection”.
“Minister Ng and Minister Goyal reaffirmed their commitment to maintain momentum into the next round of negotiations, to take place in the coming months,” the statement added.
In a tweet, Goyal said that both nations were “working to identify sectors for greater partnership & investments to deliver early gains for our businesses and people.”
Enhanced bilateral engagement between the two countries has been evident in recent months after a difficult period since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India in February 2018.
Last week, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault and India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, signed a Memorandum of Understanding “to increase bilateral cooperation on climate action, environmental protection and conservation”, according to a Canadian release on Friday. The described India as “a key partner in addressing climate change and environmental issues”.
The MoU was signed on the margins of the Stockholm+50 meeting in the Swedish capital. “We are launching a collaborative process between our two governments that will strengthen each of our responses to the challenges we face in dealing with climate action and nature protection,” Guilbeault said.
Last month, the India-Canada Science and Technology Cooperation Committee meeting took place in Ottawa, and was chaired by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Prof Srivari Chandrasekhar and his counterpart, Deputy Minister for International Trade at Global Affairs Canada David Morrison.
A joint statement noted that both countries were “committed to deepening ties” and science, technology and innovation were “a key pillar of the relationship”.