A high level delegation led by the Canadian International Trade Minister, Mr. François-Philippe Champagne is visiting India to attend the 4th Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD) scheduled to begin tomorrow in New Delhi. The Indian delegation will be led by the Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu.
In the current round of the Ministerial Dialogue, India and Canada would be focusing on some of the key commercial drivers to enhance the India-Canada partnership. Efforts would be made to work towards the expeditious conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for a progressive, balanced, and mutually beneficial agreement covering both goods and services. Considering the high potential for bilateral trade, the trade ministers of both countries are likely to discuss issues to explore ways of expediting the early conclusion of the CEPA and the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). They would also explore options for Indian interests in addressing the Temporary Foreign Workers Programme (TWFP) of Canada, which is affecting the movement of Indian professionals seeking short term visas, address equivalence by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for Indian organic product exports and exploring two way investment opportunities.
India has long standing friendly bilateral relations with Canada. Though geographically separated by a large distance, the historical ties between the two countries date back to the late 19th Century, when Indians began migrating in small numbers to British Columbia in Canada. Canada now has over 1.2 million Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), comprising more than 3 percent of its population. Though India’s commercial ties with US have seen an upswing in the last few years, trade and investment relations between India and Canada are yet to realise their full potential. Given enormous complementarities, a concerted effort to boost bilateral trade and investment from both sides would provide a fruitful outcome.
Canada and India enjoy a prosperous trading relationship. Since 2004, despite the Late-2000s recession, trade has increased by over 70%. In 2009, Canadian exports to India totalled C$2.1 billion, while in the same year Canadian imports from India totalled C$2.0 billion, giving Canada a C$100 million trade surplus. India celebrated the year 2012 as year of India in Canada to promote business, cultural and political relations with India.
Despite the warm relationship, trade between Canada and India is less than their potential. India accounts for less than 1% of Canada's total export and total import in 2014, with bilateral trade of C$5.77 billion in 2014 (compared to more than C$56 billion bilateral trade between China and Canada). Nevertheless, total trade between the two countries grows steadily over the past 5 year.
Canada and India are currently holding negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to improve the trade relations between the two countries. As of March 2015, the two countries held their 9th round of negotiations in New Delhi.