Canada hopes for 'new era of partnership' with India | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Canada hopes for 'new era of partnership' with India

delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2009 11:27 IST

With Prime Minister Stephen Harper set to embark on a three-day India tour, Canada hopes his visit will mark "a new era of partnership" between the two countries, which are expected to finalise a civil nuclear deal and ink a major economic treaty.

The purpose of the visit, beginning tomorrow, was to develop a comprehensive and holistic relationship with India which, with its 1.2 billion people, is the world's largest democracy and an emerging power, official sources said.

The nuclear agenda will be one of the most closely-watched issues on this trip, as the civilian nuclear agreement has existed in draft form for several months now.

The accord would mirror similar deals India reached with the US and France, sources said, adding Harper's visit will mark "a new era of partnership" with New Delhi.

Harper, who will be discussing bilateral issues with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is also expected to sign a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement to safeguard investors' rights in the two countries.

Singh and Harper are likely to use the trip to talk about a Canada-India Free Trade Agreement or smaller steps to lower trade barriers between the two countries.

Noting that "there is a tremendous amount of potential" in Canada's ties with India, Harper said in a recent statement that "we share a history of cooperation in the Commonwealth and the United Nations, as well as a shared commitment to pluralism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."