Vadodara: Canadian Parliament is all set
to ratify in February the civil nuclear deal with India,
giving a fresh boost to bilateral cooperation even as the two
countries are expected to seal a Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in the next six months.
Canadian High Commissioner Stewart G Beck said the
Nuclear Power Agreement (NCA) signed with India in June last
year ending a 36-year-old freeze in civil nuclear cooperation
is likely to be ratified by parliament in his country next
"It will also have to be ratified by Indian
Parliament," he said to a news agency, adding, ratification of the
agreement and negotiating its administrative arrangements were
necessary before the accord can be implemented.
"Once in place, the agreement will allow India access
to Canadian nuclear technology, equipment and fuel," the envoy
The agreement, signed in the presence of Prime Minster
Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper on
the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last year, was considered a
landmark step in bilateral cooperation in view of Canada`s
strong attitude in the past when it slapped sanctions against
India after the Pokhran I and II tests in 1974 and 1998.
Canada was also hopeful of sealing the crucial a
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in the
next six months, the High Commissioner said, adding his
country has identified India as a priority country for
"A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
is an FTA from our perspective. It is aimed at promoting
market opening policies and stands to become one of the most
important building blocks in constructing a broader, deeper
bilateral relationship," Beck said.
Pointing out that there remains much untapped
potential, he said both the countries have a trillion-dollar
economy, yet bilateral trade is to the tune of four billion
dollars per year.
He said both Harper and Singh are determined to change
this and have committed to raise bilateral trade to 15 billion
dollars within five years.
The High Commissioner said Canada is particularly well
placed to collaborate with India in knowledge-based
industries. "This is largely due to the tremendous investments
Canada has made to support the country`s research and
investment infrastructure," he said.
He said Canada aims to build a more robust bilateral
partnership with India based on mutual political, academic and
Beck was in the city to deliver a key note address at
an international conference organised by the Centre for
Canadian studies, Department of Economics, Maharaja Sayajirao
University and Federation of Gujarat Industries.
The NCA will enable India to import Canadian atomic
equipment and technology and secure uranium by providing the
Canadian nuclear industry access to the expanding
multi-billion dollar Indian nuclear market.
The Nuclear Suppliers` Group, a cartel which trades in
nuclear fuel, equipment and technology, lifted a 34-year ban
on India in 2008. US, France and Russia are among the
countries with which India has civil nuclear pacts.