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Canada, India To Complete FTA Talks By 2013

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

13 July 2011

Canada and India have made progress toward an economic partnership agreement, which, according to the Canadian government, could boost the economy by billions.

Speaking to Indo-Canadian business leaders in Vancouver on July 11, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, emphasized the government's progress in enhancing economic cooperation between Canada and India.

Fast told listeners that last week Canadian and Indian officials held a round of trade talks on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which Fast described as successful. He stressed that: “We are pursuing markets abroad to protect and strengthen the financial security of hardworking Canadians. We see opportunity in India and want to seize it.”

The Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade department has noted that a 2010 Canada-India joint study concluded that free trade could expand Canada’s economy by at least CAD6bn (USD6.2bn) and increase bilateral trade with India by 50%.

In addition, the department believes that an agreement with India could deliver significant commercial benefits to companies across many sectors of the Canadian economy, including forestry, mining, manufacturing, fishing and seafood products, and agriculture. The government is committed to completing its negotiations by 2013.

Also speaking at the event was Robin Dhir, President and CEO, Twin Brook Developments. He said: “The Indo-Canadian business community fully supports the government as it moves ahead with this historic opportunity to deepen trade and investment relations with India. We will be working very closely with Minister Fast as the negotiations progress.”

Canadian government figures show that, in 2010 bilateral trade between Canada and India was worth CAD4.2bn, an increase of 73% since 2004.

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

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