It’s time to reignite talks on economic partnership

By Raj Sahni, Bennett Jones LLP

After much initial fanfare and enthusiasm when discussions on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between Canada and India began some five years ago, little has been accomplished over the past year and the progress and good work between the two countries could be lost if the talks are not soon reignited.

Raj Sahni
Raj Sahni

Exploratory discussions began in January 2009, negotiations formally commenced in November 2010, and a deadline was set to finalize the agreement by the end of 2013. Both governments had set a target for two-way trade of C$15 billion (US$13.6 billion) by the end of 2015, up from C$5 billion-5.5 billion for the past several years, with much focus on the CEPA as a platform for increasing two-way trade.

While tripling two-way trade by the end of next year may be a lofty goal, the time is right for reigniting the talks and finalizing the CEPA. With India’s new majority central government focused on trade as one of the pillars for rejuvenating “Brand India” and a pro-trade federal government in Canada facing elections in 2015, the political will should exist to finally consummate the CEPA.

You must be a subscribersubscribersubscribersubscriber to read this content, please subscribesubscribesubscribesubscribe today.

For group subscribers, please click here to access.
Interested in group subscription? Please contact us.



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, Vancouver, Washington DC, Dubai and Doha, and a representative office in Beijing.


Suite 3400, 1 First Canadian Place

P.O. Box 130

Toronto, Ontario M5X 1A4

Fax: +1 416 863 1716

Tel: Raj Sahni, Chair – India Business Group +1 416 777 4804