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Canadian PM to visit India next month; N-deal on agenda

world Updated: Oct 29, 2009 21:16 IST

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit India next month, his maiden official trip to the country during, which the two sides are expected to finalise a civil nuclear deal and ink a major economic treaty besides exploring ways to lower trade barriers.

Harper, who will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation, will deliberate on a range of bilateral issues with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Conservative leader will pay a three-day visit India from November 16 after participating in a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore, the Prime Minister's office said. This will be followed by a visit to China from December 2 to 6.

Noting that there is a "tremendous amount of potential" in Canada's ties with India, Harper said in a statement, "our two countries enjoy a growing partnership, sharing significant interests in trade and investment, the environment and regional security."

During the tour, Harper is expected to finalise a nuclear deal and sign a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPPA) that would safeguard investors' rights in the two countries and boost bilateral economic ties.

Singh and Harper are also expected to talk about establishing a Canada-India Free Trade Agreement or smaller steps that would help lower trade barriers between the two countries, officials said.