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New Delhi hosts 4th annual India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade
Monday, 27 November, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
New Delhi hosted the fourth annual India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment recently. While the Indian delegation was led by Suresh Prabhu, minister for commerce and industry, the Canadian side was headed by François-Philippe Champagne, minister for international trade.

The talks, which were held in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere, covered a host of trade and investment issues. Both sides recognised that the current bilateral trade is much below the potential between the two world’s robust economies, despite the huge untapped potential for two-way trade and investment.

Both sides noted the progress made during the 10th Round of the India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) held in August 2017 and expressed their strong commitment to taking forward the negotiations for early conclusion.

India also highlighted the importance of the Services Component under CEPA. Both sides also noted the exchange of wishlists on the Services front. The Indian side reiterated that the architecture for Services under CEPA is a vital focus area and the response from Canada on positive elements has to be mutually beneficial.

The Canadian side assured that they would look into the issues concerned, including the movement of natural persons and what kind of provisions could be built into the CEPA. The ministers directed the chief negotiators to discuss and explore ways for early conclusion of the agreement.

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

They also deliberated on the possible cooperation between the supporting agencies concerned, for mutual benefit as well as finding these agencies contributing directly or indirectly for promoting mutual trade interests.

It was agreed to explore collaboration in the area of export credit insurance through India’s Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd (ECGC Ltd) and Canada’s Export Development Canada (EDC).

Both ECGC Ltd and EDC are members of the Berne Union (BU), an international association representing the global export credit and investment insurance industry. Canada also proposed for possible cooperation with their Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).   

Other issues, such as the early institutionalisation of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Forum mechanism, the issue of the extension of the derogation of pulses, etc., were also discussed.

On the issue of pulses, Prabhu suggested that given Canada’s advantage in geo-spatial planning and the work done in geographical information system, both should be utilised to analyse the crop production systems in India and forecast the trend for next 10 years and accordingly work towards a predictable environment for potential pulses which could be supplied from Canada.

He also invited the Canadian side to participate in the Partnership Summit scheduled to take place in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, in February 2018, besides inviting Canada to be a partner country.
 
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