Seventh round of India-Canada FTA talks likely in Feb
Jan 14 2013 , New Delhi
"Canada wants an ambitious Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. The seventh round of (FTA) negotiations is happening in February in New Delhi," Canadian High Commissioner in India Stewart Beck said here.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function jointly organised by industry chamber CII and Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
"I think there is will at both the sides to conclude the proposed pact partly because we think it is an important thing to do and also the Prime Ministers (of India and Canada) have committed to do it by end of 2013," Beck said.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, in November 2012, reaffirmed their desire to conclude the proposed pact by the end of 2013.
Besides, both the leaders reiterated their shared desire to see bilateral trade reach $ 15 billion by 2015.
At present, the two-way trade is over $ 5 billion.
The negotiations for pact, which is officially dubbed as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), was launched by both the countries in November 2010 to further boost bilateral trade and investment.
Beck said: "We want one (pact) that is going to give the maximum movement of people from Indian perspective. We want the one which gives the best rates possible for Canadian goods coming into this market."
The FTA is aimed at slashing or eliminating duties on maximum number of products traded between the two countries, besides opening the services sector and facilitating investment proposals.
As per a joint study group report, both countries will benefit from the CEPA. According to the report, India and Canada's GDP are likely to get benefits in the range of $ 6 billion and $ 15 billion per year, respectively from the trade pact.
Canada primarily exports vegetables, fertilisers, machinery and wood pulp, while its main imports from India are organic chemicals, knit and woven apparel, precious stones and metals, electronics and machinery.