India, Canada resume talks on stalled trade pact

After languishing for practically 4 years, India and Canadian negotiators have resumed discussions this week in direction of a potential commerce pact.

The discussions, held just about, have been undertaken by officers of India’s commerce ministry and people from Canada’s worldwide commerce division. They revisited the stalled Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA, which has been into account for a full decade after talks have been initiated beneath then Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh after which Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

There is a few optimism a deal might lastly be potential, as Kendal Hembroff, director-general, Trade Negotiations for Global Affairs Canada, tweeted, “Great discussions this week towards a possible trade agreement with India. Canadian and Indian negotiators were hard at work!”

India’s excessive commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria responded, “Great to see constructive engagement between trade teams this week on a trade pact and when done, should boost trade and investment in the bilateral economic corridor.”

The final spherical of negotiations was held in August 2017. While Canadian officers wished to clinch a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement or FIPA previous to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s go to to India in February 2018, New Delhi was extra concerned about concluding CEPA first. However, with relations declining following that disastrous go to, contemporary talks weren’t scheduled outdoors of routine stocktaking.

Relations have improved this yr with Canada appreciative of India’s supply of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine in March, adopted by Canada’s generosity as India confronted the harmful second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, a senior Indian official mentioned the discussions are centred round a “CEPA-lite”, which is able to bear in mind areas of curiosity between the 2 nations.

Interestingly, the final ministerial-level dialogue on CEPA was held in September 2016 by two leaders who are actually each finance ministers in India and Canada – Nirmala Sitharaman, then commerce minister and Chrystia Freeland, then minister of worldwide commerce.

Global Affairs Canada describes India as a “priority market”, and India is ninth largest export market, and 10th largest buying and selling companion general.