India, Canada to fast-track free trade pact negotiations

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 13, 2017

Trade bonhomie Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, and Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne during a meeting in New Delhi on Monday   -  PTI

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Canada and India discussed ways to expeditiously conclude the free trade agreement and investment pact being negotiated at the Ministerial dialogue in New Delhi on Monday.

Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu and the Canadian Minister for International Trade François-Philippe Champagne directed the chief negotiators of the free trade pact to discuss and explore ways for early conclusion of the agreement, according to an official release.

India highlighted the importance of services component under the proposed free trade pact formally known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). “The Canadian side assured that they would look into the issues concerned, including movement of natural persons or workers and the kind of provisions could be built into the CEPA,” the release said.

Both sides also noted the exchange of wish lists on the services front and the Indian side reiterated that the architecture for services under CEPA is a vital focus area and response from Canada on positive elements has to be mutually beneficial. The Canadian side assured that it would look into the issues concerned, including movement of natural persons and the kind of provisions that could be built into the CEPA.

Both Ministers also took note of the progress made under the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and expressed their hope for an early conclusion.

While Canada is pressing for an earlier conclusion of the FIPA, India wants the CEPA to be also concluded simultaneously.

The two countries agreed to explore collaboration in the area of export credit insurance through India’s Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd and Export Development Canada.

Published on November 13, 2017
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