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Canada And India To Conclude FTA

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

13 June 2011

Canada is committed to concluding free trade negotiations with India by 2013 and increasing levels of bilateral trade, according to the country's Minister of International Trade.

Speaking following a round table meeting on bilateral business prospects on June 9, Ed Fast said strengthening and increasing trade and investment with India would bolster Canadian economic prosperity.

The meeting was part of a two day conference also participated in by Arun Maira, a member of the Planning Commission of India, and A. Didar Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Negotiations began in November, 2010 towards a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, and a free trade agreement is thought capable of generating CAD6-15bn (USD6.2-15.4bn) for the Canadian economy annually.

Fast added: “Our leaders have set a clear goal: to increase our bilateral trade to CAD15bn by 2015. A key part of reaching that shared goal will be a free trade agreement, which stands to become an important building block in constructing a broader and deeper bilateral relationship."

"With trade representing some 60% of Canada’s economy, deepening our relationship with key countries such as India is vital to our economic recovery and to the strengthening of the financial security of Canadians—now and into the future".

According to Canadian government figures, bilateral trade reached CAD4.2bn in 2010, up 73% since 2004. Exports to India rose by 142% during this period, totalling approximately CAD2.1bn last year, while two-way direct investment was worth more than CAD7bn in 2010.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | India | trade treaty | agreements | Canada | trade

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