As we are now more than halfway through the year, we thought it would be apt to provide an update on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations between Canada and India. At the close of the fourth round of CEPA negotiations in February, the Indian and Canadian governments committed to stepping up their efforts to complete the CEPA in 2013. Then in May, the Canadian government announced its Global Commerce Strategy, which affirmed the priority of deepening of trade and investment ties through the ongoing negotiations with India.
Spotlight on Asia
At the June meeting of APEC trade ministers, Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade and minister for the Asia-Pacific gateway, again affirmed the Canadian government’s focus on trade liberalization. The minister advocated expanding multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, and other action to reduce barriers to trade.
The CEPA is a cornerstone in the Canadian government’s broader trade policy strategy, which includes gaining admittance into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement and a renewed focus on Asia. For both Canada and India, the trade partnership is a natural evolution as India’s continued economic growth is dependent on access to resources of every variety, and Canada’s agricultural, energy, mineral, and technological resources are well-positioned to meet India’s expanding needs and fuel future growth.
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Raj Sahni is a partner and co-chair of the India Business Group at Bennett Jones, a law firm with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The author is grateful to Matthijs van Gaalen for his assistance with this article.
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