The Economic Times | 10 May 2023
India, Canada trade pact to cover goods, services, investments, technical barriers
By Kirtika Suneja
The India-Canada Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) will cover goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement, the government said on Wednesday.
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal met Canada’s minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Mary Ng, during his visit to Canada.
As per an official statement, the ministers reviewed the progress so far achieved in the India-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations in the seven rounds of negotiations so far.
“The ministers reaffirmed that the EPTA would cover, among others, high level commitments in goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement, and may also cover others where mutual agreement is reached,” the ministry said.
The two sides relaunched negotiations for a trade pact in March last year after a 10 year hiatus.
In a joint statement issued on the 6th India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment, the commerce and industry ministry said that the Canada-India CEO Forum will be relaunched “at a mutually-agreed early date”. The two sides, will by Fall 2023, sign a Memorandum of Understanding for enhanced cooperation through measures such as coordinated investment promotion, information exchange and mutual support.
Mary Ng, will lead a Team Canada trade mission to India in October, it said.
“The two sides also agreed to explore enhanced cooperation through measures such as coordinated investment promotion, information exchange and mutual support between the two parties in near future,” the ministry said, adding that this cooperation between India and Canada will be finalized by way of an MoU preferably in Fall 2023.
India-Canada bilateral trade in goods reached about $8.2 billion in 2022, registering about 25% growth compared to 2021.
They also highlighted “significant potential for increasing bilateral services trade which stood at about $6.6 billion in 2022”.
“The ministers further asked their officials to discuss trade remedy issues of bilateral importance on a regular basis,” the ministry said.
The two ministers participated in the India-Canada business leaders’ dialogue at which
the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the Business Council of Canada announced a new partnership to connect business leaders from both countries, promote bilateral economic ties, and enhance co-operation as partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
“India’s bilateral relationship with Canada holds great potential especially in areas like energy, science, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and infrastructure development,” said FICCI President Subhrakant Panda.
The ministers also called for boosting the commercial ties between the two countries through enhanced cooperation and by forging partnerships to take advantage of the complementarities in such sectors as clean and green technologies for infrastructure development, critical minerals, electric vehicles and batteries, renewable energy/hydrogen, and AI, agricultural goods, chemicals, infrastructure, automotive, clean energy, electronics, and minerals and metals.
To promote critical mineral supply chain resiliency, they committed to an annual dialogue at the official level on the margins of the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference in Toronto to discuss issues of mutual interest.
As per the statement, the ministers noted that India and Canada have agreed to an expanded air services agreement in 2022 which enhances people to people ties through enhanced commercial flights by carriers of both the countries.