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India, Canada FTA may face delay; likely to miss December deadline

Economic Times, India

India, Canada FTA may face delay; likely to miss December deadline

7 Apr, 2013

PTI/NEW DELHI: The proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Canada is likely to be delayed and may miss the December 2013 deadline, a government official has said.

The FTA is aimed at slashing or eliminating duties on a large number of products traded between the two countries, besides opening the services sector and facilitating investment proposals.

"The concluding of proposed FTA by December this year looks difficult as lots of ground is yet to be covered," an official told PTI.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, in November last year, reaffirmed their desire to conclude the proposed pact by December 2013.

The negotiations for pact, which is officially dubbed as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), was launched by both the countries in November 2010 to further boost bilateral trade and investment.

Besides, Singh and Harper had reiterated their shared desire to see the bilateral trade reach USD 15 billion by 2015. During 2011-12, the two-way trade was about USD 5 billion.

As per a Joint Study Group (JSG) report, both the countries will benefit from the CEPA. According to the report, India and Canada’s GDP are likely to get benefits in the range of USD 6 billion and USD 15 billion per year, respectively from the trade pact.

India’s exports to Canada include organic chemicals, precious stones, metals, apparel and machinery, while imports from Canada comprise vegetables, fertilisers, paper and paperboard, machinery, wood pulp, iron and steel.