In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, India and Canada expressed their intention to enhance trade relations and expand investment opportunities between the two nations. The statement came following a meeting between India's Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, and his Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng, in Ottawa on Monday. The officials, accompanied by business leaders, discussed the possibility of sealing an initial agreement this year, outlining a framework to address disputes and promote economic cooperation.
Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA)
The Indian and Canadian ministers highlighted the Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) as a pivotal component of their trade discussions. The EPTA is expected to encompass a wide range of areas, including commitments in goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement. Through this agreement, both countries aim to establish a solid foundation for future collaboration and economic growth.
Cooperation and Memorandum of Understanding
In their joint statement, India and Canada expressed their desire to finalize a memorandum of understanding on their cooperation within this year. This memorandum would serve as a formal document outlining the areas of collaboration and the shared vision for strengthening bilateral ties. With this commitment, both nations are taking a significant step towards establishing a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.
Potential for Economic Growth
Indian government estimates suggest that a comprehensive trade pact between India and Canada has the potential to increase bilateral trade by up to $6.5 billion. This agreement would not only promote the exchange of goods and services but also encourage investment flows between the two countries. Currently, over 600 Canadian companies and organizations have a presence in India, further indicating the existing strong commercial relations between the two nations.
Growing Bilateral Trade
Recent figures indicate a positive trajectory in bilateral trade between Canada and India. In 2022, the bilateral goods trade reached $8.2 billion, marking a 25% increase compared to the previous year. These encouraging numbers reflect the increasing demand for trade between the two countries and highlight the opportunities that lie ahead.
Upcoming Trade Delegation Visit
The joint statement also revealed that Mary Ng, the Canadian Minister, plans to visit India in October, accompanied by a trade delegation. This visit aims to further strengthen ties and explore new avenues of collaboration. It provides an opportunity for both nations to engage in productive discussions and identify areas where mutual interests align.
India and Canada's commitment to deepening their trade and investment relationship sets a positive tone for future economic cooperation. By addressing key aspects such as dispute settlement and expanding trade opportunities, both countries are working towards unlocking their full potential for growth and prosperity.