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04/03/2017 12:07pm

India and Canada stresses on need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner

image India and Canada stresses on need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner

New Delhi, Mar 4 (KNN) Both India and Canada agreed that the present trade between the two countries which is in the range of $ 8 billion is much below its potential and there is a need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner for ensuring higher levels of trade in goods and services.

During the bilateral meeting held  on Friday between visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, both the Ministers directed the respective Chief Negotiators on both sides to agree on a time line and conclude it as per the agreed time line.

The two Ministers carried forward the discussion from the bilateral meeting held on the side lines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January, 2017.

The discussion focussed on expanding bilateral trade and investment between the Countries. Both the Ministers agreed to expedite the conclusion of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The Canadian Trade Minister pointed out regarding the interest shown by Canadian Pension Funds in the Indian market and emphasised on the need for FIPA which will provide the required predictability and protection to investments.

Addressing the issues of MFN, ratchet, ISDS etc. raised by the Canadian side, Sitharaman clarified that the negotiation should not get lost in peripheral issues and should focus on bringing in promotion and protection elements, which provide stability and predictability to investments in each other’s countries.

Sitharaman also raised the issue of reforms in the Temporary Foreign Workers Programme (TWFP) which has been made more stringent by Canada and which adversely impacts the services trade from India.

She discussed the importance of the ease of movement for intra-company transferees on short term visa for filling in certain crucial and specialized activities.

The Canadian Trade Minister raised the issue of the fumigation requirement for the pulses being imported into India and the need for a resolution to the issue.

Both the Ministers also discussed the potential benefit of business to business interface and, therefore, the importance of CEO Forum to provide the required perspective for improvement in bilateral trade and investment.

Both sides also agreed for better mutual cooperation on issues of common interest at the International Fora. Both the Ministers resolved to take forward the momentum for enhanced bilateral trade.

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