Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has indicated that India and Canada may finalise.
Minister Goyal made the announcement during a reception in Toronto organised by the Canada-India Business Council on Wednesday. He stated that both India and Canada have shown keen interest in expanding their trade ties and that the EPTA could be the first step towards achieving this objective. an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) by the end of this year. This announcement comes as a significant development in the growing bilateral trade relations between the two countries.
During the course of media interaction in Toronto, Goyal, who is on a bilateral visit to Canada, said that getting the deal done in 2023 is “not beyond the realm of possibility.”
“I’m usually very optimistic, I do wish it’s much faster than that,” he added. “We’re working to ensure early conclusion to the Early Progress Trade Agreement which we believe will send a strong signal to business on both sides, in terms of our desire of leaders of both Governments to expand business and investment partnerships,” he stressed
He said that his discussions with his Canadian counterpart, International Trade Minister Mary Ng “even though informal, were quite substantive and have moved the needle on a fast-track basis.”
Goyal also said “speed” was of the essence, but didn’t want to set a deadline for concluding the pact, as it “pays to be pragmatic and practical and careful.”
He did say that discussions had gone on “longer than I like a FTA (free trade agreement) negotiation to take place. They’ve had seven rounds already.”
We’ve both agreed sensitivities on both sides will be respected and recognized,” he said, noting that was what clinched the agreements with Australia and the United Arab Emirates. In fact, the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement which came into force in December is useful as it “generates confidence” and gives Ottawa “a template to look at” given the similarities between Canada and Australia . Also ng was very optimistic she tweeted that “Our trade agreements open the doors for businesses to walk through.” Both Ministers were present at a reception organised in Toronto by the Canada-India Business Council.
She announced that she will lead a trade mission from Canada to India in October or November this year but the Ministers will meet in Jaipur before that when she attends the G20 trade vertical there in August. As is to be held in India at Kashmir.
The release from her office said, “The ministers made progress on key trade initiatives such as ongoing talks toward an Early Progress Trade Agreement.”.
“They reaffirmed that EPTA would cover shared areas of importance such as high-level commitments in goods, investment, service, a focus on rules-based international order, technical barriers to trade and dispute settlement,” it added.
It was also said they shared a commitment towards enhancing cooperation in key sectors like critical minerals, clean tech, renewable energy and AI. They discussed continuing to work together in coordinating investment promotion, information exchange and mutual support between Canada and India through a Memorandum of Understanding later this year.
The ministers discussed continuing to work together in coordinating investment promotion, information exchange and mutual support between Canada and India through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) later this year.