Growing India-Canada trade: benefits of a CEPA

By Milos Barutciski, Bennett Jones LLP
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In November 2009, the Canadian and Indian prime ministers, Stephen Harper and Manmohan Singh, established a joint study group to examine the feasibility of concluding a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries. The joint study predicted significant gains for both countries and, on 12 November 2010, prime ministers Singh and Harper announced the formal launch of negotiations toward a CEPA.

Complementary strengths

Bilateral trade and investment between India and Canada is currently at a relatively modest level (India is Canada’s 15th largest trading partner and Canada is India’s 33rd largest trading partner). This however, masks the complementary characteristics of the two countries’ economies and the potential to expand economic relations to mutual benefit.

While India’s economy is growing rapidly, much of this growth has occurred domestically. Its export and import trade has room for much greater growth – in which Canada should be a key partner. Canada’s successful free trade agreement with the United States can provide Indian producers with a strategic platform to expand access to the US market.

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Milos Barutciski is a partner and co-chair of Bennett Jones LLP’s International Trade and Investment Group. He also chairs the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s International Affairs Committee and is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Trade and Investment Commission. Bennett Jones is a leading Canadian law firm with over 400 lawyers in offices throughout Canada and in the UAE.

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