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Canada asks India to accelerate efforts to conclude FTA

Press Trust of India  |  Toronto 

Canada has urged India to accelerate efforts to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that would stimulate trade and investment between the countries.

"Conclusion of the CEPA will be a historic achievement for both countries and it will improve market access for goods and services, eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade," Canadian Sports Minister Bal Gosal said.

He was speaking yesterday at a reception hosted by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in honour of visiting business delegation from the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI).

Gosal said the agreement would not only stimulate trade and investment between the two countries but also create more jobs, new opportunities for businesses and improve the relationship, which has been vibrant since the signing of a Nuclear Co-operation Agreement in 2010.

Bilateral trade is a meager 5.8-billion Canadian dollars.

According to a 2010 Canada-India joint study, a deal could increase Canada's output by at least USD 6 billion and boost its exports to India by 50 per cent.

"India is priority market under Canada's Global Markets Action Plan and the government view a Canada-India trade agreement as a building block in expanding strategic relationship with India," Gosal said.

He said, "Canada has what India wants in helping it solve its food and energy security - and related technologies - needs; its infrastructure and educational needs. India is one of Canada's 13 priority markets and the country looks forward to further expanding co-operation in civil aviation and defense research."

Commending the contributions made by the Indo-Canadian Community, he said the community have already contributed greatly to making Canada one of the best places in the world to live and do business.

FKCCI President S Samapathraman is leading the 27-member delegation, including 12 women, representing agriculture, pharmaceuticals, industrial raw material, manufacturers of diesel generators, reactors and hotel industries sectors.

"We look forward better trade tries between Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) of the two countries. We would like to offer our expertise in the fields of renewable sources of energy, liquor and wine, real estate, education, environment engineering and waste management and looking for joint ventures for mutual benefits," Samapathraman said.

Samapathraman invited Canadian investment in the State in the field of Intellectual Property, Energy and Education as the State government has decided to offer tax and other incentives for foreign investment.

K Ravi, Chairman, International Trade Committee of the FKCCI, urged the Canadian government to accelerate efforts as Canadian Consulate office in Bangalore is yet to start providing consular services in the state that would go a long way in promoting trade relations between the two countries.

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First Published: Wed, August 13 2014. 00:15 IST