India, Canada to spur n-deal during Harper's visit
New Delhi: Civil nuclear cooperation, trade and economic ties and the presence of separatist elements in Canada are some of the issues expected to be on the top of the agenda during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to India from Sunday.
Harper, accompanied by three cabinet ministers and a large business delegation, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which the two sides are expected to take forward the 2010 India-Canada nuclear deal apart from finding ways to boost cooperation in key bilateral areas, official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
"We hope to have forward movement on implementing the nuclear deal during the visit," Vikram Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas) in MEA, said, adding the specifics and modalities of the agreement were being worked out.
He also said they will be within the framework of the India-specific safeguards agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Indian law and the Canadian national law.
He was asked if there will be any forward movement of the civil nuclear pact, inked in 2010, between India and Canada, which is the world's largest uranium producer.
Asked about the reports about the presence of separatist elements in Canada and if India will take it up with Harper, Doraiswami said "it has been a matter of significant concern to government of India and has been raised for decades, particular since 1985. We feel the kind of cooperation we are getting from Canada has significantly improved. And we do continue to be in dialogue on this."
On trade front, India and Canada are negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to take their economic ties to the next level. The next round of negotiations will be held in Canada mid-November, Doraiswami said.
India-Canada bilateral trade in the year 2011 was USD 5.2 billion, registering a growth of over 28 percent over 2010. Total Canadian investment in India is estimated to be USD 4.3 billion while India’s total investment in Canada is estimated to be USD 14.2 billion.
In the year 2010, Indian investment in Canada was around USD 6.4 billion and Canadian investment in India around USD 485 million. It is currently estimated to be USD five billion. Indian investments in Canada are steadily growing and are estimated to be over USD 10 billion now.
Energy, Mining, Infrastructure, Higher Education, Science and Technology and Agriculture are priority areas of bilateral cooperation, Doraiswami said.
Canadians of Indian origin are a significant segment of the population of Canada, with a population estimated at over 1 million, which is over 3 percent of the total population, he said.
Harper will also visit Bangalore, Agra and Chandigarh during his stay in India.