India, Canada favour increasing annual trade upto 15 billion dollars

Ottawa (Canada), Sep.25 (ANI): Agreeing that there is significant potential for sustained growth in trade and investment flows between India and Canada, both the countries have reiterated their Prime Ministers' commitment to increase their annual trade to 15 billion dollars in next five years from current level of 4.5 billion dollars.

On Friday, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma co-chaired the First Annual India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment in Ottawa with the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Peter Van Loan.

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 was significant potential for sustained growth in trade and investment flows between the two countries, and reiterated their Prime Ministers' commitment to increase trade upto 15 billion dollars.

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.

Looking forward to the early signing followed by ratification and implementation of the Social Security Agreement, the ministers noted that the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was under negotiation and they 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.

Underlining the the importance of greater contact between Canadian and Indian businesses, both the ministers 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.

Meanwhile, Mr. Anand Sharma also met Canada's Industry Minister Mr. Tony Clement. Both the Ministers stressed upon the need to enhance investment and technological collaboration between businesses in the two countries.

He also addressed the India Canada CEO Roundtable meeting, jointly organised by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The Indian Minister Sharma also had an interactive session with the Canada-India Centre of Excellence at Carleton University. (ANI)

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