India and Canada agree to work on interim trade pact and formally relaunch CEPA negotiations
India and Canada have agreed to officially relaunch negotiations for a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an official statement said on Friday (March 11).
The two sides also agreed to consider an interim agreement or Rapid Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) that could bring quick trade gains to both countries.
India and Canada held the fifth trade and investment ministerial dialogue on Friday. The meeting was co-chaired by Union Trade Minister Piyush Goal and Canadian Minister for Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce, the ministers underscored the existing trade complementarities between India and Canada and underlined that the trade agreement will help to develop bilateral trade in goods and services by unlocking the potential in all sectors. .
In the meantime, the interim agreement would include high-level commitments on goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and dispute settlement, and could also cover any other mutually agreed domain.
A range of other bilateral trade and investment issues were discussed at the meeting, according to the statement.
The two countries have agreed to intensify work on recognition of Canada’s systems approach to pest risk management in pulses and market access for Indian agricultural products such as sweet corn, baby corn and banana, etc.
Canada has also agreed to expeditiously review the application for Conformity Verification Body (CVB) status with APEDA (Processed Food and Agricultural Export Development Authority) to facilitate the export of organic products. Indians, he added.
Ministers recognized the importance of building resilient supply chains in critical sectors and exchanged views on collaboration in this area.
They focused on strengthening cooperation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and critical and rare earth minerals as well as in areas such as tourism, urban infrastructure, renewable energy and mining. .
The ministers also noted the role of strong people-to-people ties between the two countries, including the movement of professionals and skilled workers, students and business travelers, in strengthening the bilateral economic partnership.
The ministers agreed to work closely together to give a sustained impetus to building linkages and enhance cooperation across sectors to fully harness the potential of India-Canada trade and investment relations, according to the press release.
It should be noted that the two sides had started talks for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement in 2010, but there was not much progress, although negotiations continued until 2017.