Canada Trade Min to fast-track FTA talks during India visit

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Business Standard | 2 March 2017

Canada Trade Min to fast-track FTA talks during India visit

(PTI) Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne is expected to accelerate the negotiation process of the proposed free trade pact with India during his visit here starting tomorrow.

The minister is also likely to take up crucial issues to expedite the proposed foreign investment promotion and protection pact between India and Canada, during his meetings with government’s top brass including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

"Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne will visit India on March 3, 2017. During his visit, Minister Champagne will meet Arun Jaitley and Nirmala Sitharaman," a release issued by the Canadian High Commission said.

The Canadian Minister will also hold discussions with senior business leaders.

"Minister Champagne’s visit comes at an ideal time as trade and investment ties between both countries continue to flourish. Canada’s commercial relations with India are growing at an unprecedented pace, and our government considers India a high priority trading partner.

"Two-way trade and foreign direct investment figures between Canada and India have increased dramatically in the last couple of years and we expect this trend to continue well into the future," the High Commissioner for Canada to India, Nadir Patel, said.

Both the countries have been negotiating for the proposed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and the free trade pact dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The CEPA is a comprehensive free trade agreement under which two trade partners significantly reduce or eliminate Customs duties, besides liberalising trade in services and investment norms.

The negotiations for the CEPA agreement were launched in November 2010 to further boost bilateral trade and investment. The two-way trade stood at USD 6.25 billion in 2015-16, an increase from USD 5.95 billion in 2014-15.

Minister Champagne’s visit to India is the fifth in the last seven months by a Cabinet Minister of Canada.