India and Canada will soon begin formal negotiations for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) aimed at more than tripling bilateral trade between the two countries in five years.
The first round of negotiations ended on Tuesday and the second round of negotiations is expected to be held early next year.
“An economic partnership agreements between Canada and India would be of enormous economic benefit to both our countries,” Peter Van Loan, Canada's Minister of International Trade, told Hindustan Times.
The decision to launch was taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper on the margins of the G20 Summit Seoul last week.
It was on the sidelines of the previous G20 meet in Toronto in June that the two countries signed a civilian nuclear deal, marking the reversal of Canada's strong stand against India's nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998. The two countries aim to push bilateral trade more than three-fold from the current $4.2 billion in the next five years.
“The gains which are projected in the report were between $6 billion to $12 billion for the Indian GDP and for Canada, between $6 billion and $15 billion, so that’s why I feel that it would be averaged at $10 billion, that is, when the CECA is concluded,” said Anand Sharma, commerce minister.
“We hope that at least $10 billion should be the gain to begin with,” said Sharma. Loan said provinces and territories of Canada are supportive of negotiations toward a closer economic partnership with India.
“Going forward, provinces and territories are expected to be fully engaged in the negotiations,” Loan said.