After the recent completion of the eighth round of negotiations toward a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada, the Canadian government announced in July the immediate opening of the Indian market to Canadian eastern spruce lumber. The value of Canadian wood product exports to India has more than tripled in the past five years, to C$9.6 million (US$9.2 million) in 2012.
According to data from Natural Resources Canada, Canada is the world’s second largest exporter of wood products, with approximately C$10 billion exported annually. India is regarded as an important market for Canada and the addition of eastern Canadian spruce to the trade mix is an important step in overall trade discussions between the two countries.
Tripling two-way trade
Two-way trade between India and Canada has remained relatively stable at approximately C$5 billion for the past several years, but both governments have set a target of C$15 billion by the end of 2015, with much focus on the CEPA as a platform for increasing two-way trade. Exploratory discussions regarding the India-Canada CEPA began in January 2009 and negotiations formally commenced in November 2010.
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Raj Sahni is a partner and chair of the India Business Group at Bennett Jones LLP, a law firm with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, and representative offices in Washington DC and Beijing.
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