India, Canada aim to seal trade pact this year

Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal looks on during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on May 25, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP)

NEW DELHI – India and Canada aim to seal an initial agreement this year to increase their trade and expand investment while setting out a mechanism to deal with disputes, they said in a statement on Wednesday.

India's Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met his Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng, in Ottawa on Monday, along with business leaders.

"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," they said in a joint statement, referring to their early progress trade agreement.

They said they would like to finalize a memorandum of understanding on their cooperation this year.

Canada's Trade Minister Mary Ng gives a press conference during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok on November 18, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP

The two countries last year relaunched negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

The proposed comprehensive trade pact could boost bilateral trade by up to $6.5 billion, according to Indian government estimates.

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More than 600 Canadian companies and organizations have a presence in India.

Bilateral commercial relations between the two countries are worth $100 billion, which includes $70 billion of Canadian portfolio investment in India, according to Indian figures.

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Bilateral goods trade between Canada and India rose to $8.2 billion in 2022, up 25% from a year earlier.

Ng will visit India in October with a trade delegation, they said.