India-Canada CEPA Negotiations

India and Canada agreed to re-launch Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) Negotiations.

India- Canada ministerial dialogue

  • The decision regarding the re-launch of CEPA negotiations was announced following the fifth India- Canada ministerial dialogue on trade and investment, held on 11th
  • The ministerial dialogue was co-chaired by Piyush Goal (India’s Minister of Commerce) and Mary Ng (Canadian Minister for Export Promotion and International Trade).
  • Both ministers highlighted the importance of ensuring supply chain resilience in critical sectors and exchanged views on collaboration in this regard. The ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, rare earth minerals, and in areas like tourism, urban infrastructure, mining, etc.

Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA)

India and Canada agreed to consider the Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA), which can be concluded early as a transitional step in the process of CEPA. EPTA will include high-level commitments from both sides on the following aspects of the trade:

  1. Goods, services, and rules of origin
  2. Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary measures
  3. Technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement
  4. Any other areas mutually agreed upon by both countries.

India seeks to gain market access in Canada for its agricultural goods such as sweet corn, baby corn, and bananas, while Canada’s focus is to export its cherries and lumber to India.

Bilateral Investment Agreement

At the ministerial dialogue, both countries also agreed to intensify negotiations towards signing the Bilateral Investment Agreement. This agreement will promote & protect bilateral investments.

History of CEPA negotiations

The negotiations to conclude CEPA were going on since 2010, but did not see much progress. Till now 10 rounds of negotiations were held between both countries. The last round of negotiations was held in 2017 and later the talks derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEPA will help in expanding India- Canada bilateral trade by unlocking the potential across various sectors.

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