India and Canada Launch FTA Talks

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Nov. 12 – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Friday that they have begun discussing the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement.

The two leaders officially launched the talks after meeting privately on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Seoul, commenting in a joint statement that “both sides expect a timely conclusion of an ambitious agreement.”

When and if it is completed, Harper forecasts that the FTA could boost gross domestic product in each country by US$5.9 billion a year and increase existing trade flows by as much as 50 percent.

Canada’s main export products to India are fertilizers, machinery, vegetables and wood pulp while India’s main exports to Canada consist of electrical and electronic equipment, clothing, machinery, organic chemicals, precious stones and metals, and woven goods.

“Canada’s vibrant, one million strong, Indo-Canadian community helps promote trade and investment between our two countries,” Harper said. “These people-to-people ties can only be enhanced by a new Canada-India agreement on trade.”