India, Canada formally agree to step up talks over FTA

Published on Mar 12, 2022 06:06 AM IST

India and Canada on Friday held the fifth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade & Investment (MDTI) in New Delhi.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau(REUTERS)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau(REUTERS)

India and Canada on Friday formally agreed to expedite talks to consider a free trade agreement between the two countries to boost trade in goods and services along with an early harvest deal, an official statement said.

Commerce minister Piyush Goyal and Canadian minister for international trade Mary Ng on Friday agreed to formally relaunch the negotiations for India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and also consider an interim agreement or Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) that expedite mutual commercial gains, it said. India and Canada on Friday held the fifth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade & Investment (MDTI) in New Delhi.

“The Interim Agreement would include high level commitments in goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement, and may also cover any other areas mutually agreed upon,” the statement issued by the commerce ministry said.

Both countries also agreed to undertake intensified work with respect to the recognition of Canada’s systems approach to pest risk management in pulses and market access for Indian agriculture goods such as sweet corn, baby corn and banana.

Canada also agreed to examine expeditiously the request of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for facilitating Indian organic export products, it said. “The Ministers acknowledged the significance of establishing resilient supply chains in critical sectors and exchanged views on collaboration in this area,” it said.

They also emphasised enhancing cooperation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and critical and rare earth minerals among others.

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