India, Canada to discuss FTA in PMs' meet this week
New Delhi: In a bid to boost trade and investments, India and Canada will be reviewing the progress of ongoing negotiations for the proposed free trade pact during the week-long visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper starting November 4.
During his visit, Harper would also meet other ministers and officials from the Indian government.
India and Canada formally launched negotiations in November, 2010 for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to boost bilateral trade and investment.
"The CEPA will figure in their meeting...They will discuss to hasten the process," a source said.
The pact aimed at slashing or elimination duties on maximum number of products traded between the two countries besides opening the services sector and facilitating investment proposals.
An Indian official delegation is visiting Canada next month for the next round of talks.
Both the sides are aiming to conclude the negotiations for the comprehensive market opening pact by 2013.
As per a joint study group report, both countries will benefit from the CEPA. According to the report, India and Canada's GDP are likely to get benefit in the range of USD 6 billion and USD 15 billion per year, respectively from the trade pact.
Both sides expect that bilateral trade between the countries will triple to USD 15 billion by 2015 from USD 5 billion at present.
Canada primarily exports vegetables, fertilisers, machinery and wood pulp, while its main imports from India are organic chemicals, knit and woven apparel, precious stones and metals, electronics and machinery.
India has operationalised a similar trade pact with South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.