First Annual India – Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Anand Sharma, co-chaired the First Annual India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment in Ottawa, Canada on 24th September, 2010 with the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr. Peter Van Loan. The Indian delegation for the Dialogue also comprised the Commerce Secretary, Dr. Rahul Khullar along with other senior government officials.

While reviewing Canada-India bilateral trade and investment relations, the Ministers encouraged the continued strengthening of economic ties between the two countries. The Ministers agreed that there is significant potential for sustained growth in trade and investment flows between the two countries, and reiterated their Prime Ministers’ commitment to increasing trade from the current level of $ 4.5 billion to $ 15 billion annually in the next five years. 

During the meeting, the Ministers released the Canada-India Joint Study Group Report that examined the feasibility of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). They welcomed the Joint Study Group recommendation that negotiations be initiated towards a substantive and ambitious CEPA to the mutual benefit of each Party.

The Ministers looked forward to the early signing followed by ratification and implementation of the Social Security Agreement. They noted that the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was under negotiation and looked forward to its early conclusion. These two agreements will make a significant contribution to the commercial and economic interaction between the two countries. Under the umbrella of the Ministerial Dialogue, both sides agreed in principle to establish working groups on PPP model, focussing on infrastructure, Energy, Mining, Agro-processing, ICT and Education. 

Both the Ministers also looked forward, signing Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Road Transportation later this year. 

The Ministers also reviewed the current status of bilateral cooperation in critical sectors such as energy, environment, mining, information and communication technology, science and technology, education and training, tourism, financial and other services, agriculture, and infrastructure. They noted the opportunities for private sector to work together in these sectors in third markets. 

The Ministers also underlined the importance of greater contact between Canadian and Indian businesses. In this regard, both sides agreed to expedite the establishment of a Canada-India CEO Forum, a high level representative body that would recommend policy initiatives and identify impediments to the enhancement of investment and trade between the two countries. 

Shri Anand Sharma also met the Industry Ministry of Canada, Mr. Tony Clement, both the Ministers stressed upon the need to enhance investment and technological collaboration between businesses in the two countries. 

Shri Anand Sharma, addressed the India Canada CEO Roundtable meeting, jointly organised by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Confederation of Indian Industry. He also had an interactive session with the Canada-India Centre of Excellence at Carleton University. 

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